Milku’s “You Make Me Feel Beautiful” Makes The Feeling Mutual
Milku’s EP, You Make Me Feel Beautiful, was released independently last month. Miles Elkington’s debut body of work is an art-pop compendium that glides across a plethora of feeling, made remarkable by his songwriting virtuosity. The tracks are a tribute to the high highs and low lows of Milku’s twenties, produced to perfection by Tim Fitz and Dave Hammer. From the get go, the cover art invites intimacy between singer and listener. This EP is a journey through falling in love with the self and the world, messiness encouraged.
The opener, “Diamonds xx,” paddles upon rhythmic waves, smooth as silk. The woozy synth and disco undertones set up a beautiful mix of slippery indie sound and a quicker, R&B influenced lyrical pace. The drum kit into the chorus works as well to blend these distinguished sounds together. Thick with twangy instrumentation, Milku’s astounding high note on the “love” of “I’m not in love” draws the heart of the listener into the two tones of the song. Is he out of love, or is he in denial? Isn’t that what we always find ourselves asking?
“Alone” bears a polished tonal transition from “Diamonds xx.” This song screams bounce, alt-pop, and confession, all on top of a snappy, funk bassline. His delivery sparkles, but the lyrics are introspective and quivering.
“This EP is about looking inside, deeper than you normally let yourself go, and the primacy of the emotions you find at the bottom. On the way down I found lots of jokes, joy, heat and confusion. Like the confusion of being in love but not being able to love well. And deepest of all I found the feeling when you can finally stop striving to be a useful man, and someone makes you feel beautiful as you are.“
Track three, “Sposed To Do,” utilizes the dynamic duo of flute and piano. Exceptionally swanky, the jazz on this track brings the lyrics to life, at once carefree and yearning. The sonic background and moodiness nod to a refreshing type of honesty. Though the lyrics are full of questions, these serve as a wrap around way of producing statements of expressions. The repetition of “what am I sposed to do?” over and over is a pleading way to say he is lost, he is without something he never wanted to be.
The penultimate song, “Real Like A Feeling” begins with an ear catching yet gentle synth ascension. The essence of art-pop, Milku’s lyrics weave wit with honesty, “I’ll keep my tongue in my cheek,” he quips. He brings in a falsetto bridge and celebrates his emotions, regardless of which. Finally, “Beverly Hills Cop” blows every other moment of synth out of the water. The spiraling love song is both thick with euphoria and a whirlwind of raw emotions, characterized by a closing repetition of the EP’s title, this song is a satisfying conclusion to a rollercoaster EP.
Milku has been mixing his own beats since teen-hood, when he asked his parents to play a tape he’d made labelled “Techno Mix.” Despite being a quiet kid, through music he could let it all out, a new language of unadulterated self-expression. The Sydney based artist toured on guitar with Middle Kids, influencing the sound of his own work. His playful sonic profile is a love letter to bedroom-art pop, New York indie of the early 00s, and bold navigation of the doubt and love that comes with living.
“What I ended up with are songs that I feel have no attention span or chill, and don’t really slot nicely into the background – just like me, and I think just like the people who will get something from this.”
Stream You Make Me Feel Beautiful below.