German artist millhope is one of a kind, as his music is quite hard to characterise by genre. Utilising a range of organic and electronic instruments on new release Searching, he manages to create an expansive rock sound that is very different to the music produced by his peers. However, it really works, marking millhope as an artist to watch out for in the future!
By Jane Howkins
We recently reviewed your track Searching. What can you tell us about the song?
If you haven’t listened to Searching yet, please do so quickly. The track takes you on a journey full of lightness, dreaminess, smoothness but also honesty with yourself. A listener recently wrote me that she was able to overcome her fear of flying with Searching (and other tracks on my playlist). How wonderful is that?! Of course, things don’t always go so well, I now owe another listener a cake because he left it in his oven while listening to Searching. Oh well.
Searching is – like my other pieces – an instrumental with synth, guitars, bass and drums. The first part is an interplay of two elements that prepare a later outburst to reconcile at the end. Searching is an important track from the forthcoming album Truth & Dare because it combines my earlier band-oriented arrangements with more electronic influences.
How has the reception to Searching been so far, and where can the track be purchased?
I am happy that I get a lot of messages on social networks and that listeners from all over the world share with me the context in which they listen to my music. These are often activities like hiking or outdoor activities in general, relaxation, cooking, travelling, on their way to work, etc. I find that totally exciting and I am very grateful for that. I find that totally exciting and I am very grateful for that.
You can listen and buy on all the usual platforms or simply via www.millhopemusic.com.
Do you plan to release any more singles in the near future?
Yes, this year 2 more singles will follow – Prototypes will be released on 03 November and Reflection on 29 December, both on my label Hey!blau Records. Your readers will surely hear about it here again.
Do you have an album or EP lined up?
Yes, exactly, the album Truth & Dare is expected to be released in spring. Another EP will follow.
Searching is a unique sounding electronic track. What/who are you most influenced by? What have you been listening to recently?
Thank you, I’m glad to hear that! I like catchy, catchy melodies, driving beats but also distinctive basslines. On the tracks from the first album I tried to combine the contrasts of spherical guitars and synth with arpeggio synth and rather dry drum grooves. Artists who are real heroes for me and whom I have always listened to a lot are for example Air, Four Tet, Tycho, Boards of Canada, Genesis, Bon Iver or Sigur Rós.
You’ve previously created music within the jazz and pop genres. What prompted the move to electronica?
I find the raw and wild qualities in improvised jazz simply great because of its purity. Maybe later in life I will dedicate myself more intensively to this genre, as currently I am just very interested in the ‘packaging’, i.e. producing music, sound design, layering and music enjoyment on headphones. The listeners should simply be able to immerse themselves in an exciting world – I really like the headphone format for this.
You’re based in Cologne. What is the local music scene like at the moment with you?
Cologne has a good electro, pop, jazz and classical music scene. At the same time, there’s still the vibe of Krautrock bands like Can or Floh De Cologne from the 60s/70s in the air, but also influences from the minimal techno that emerged in the 90s and the ‘Sound of Cologne’ around Wolfgang Voigt (among others) and the Kompakt label. I really like this mixture! The people are generally open and interested in new ideas.
Do you have anything else exciting coming up this year?
The final touches on Truth & Dare will keep me busy until Christmas and then the year is already over. Besides the two upcoming singles, there probably won’t be much more to do. But there are big plans for 2024!
Do you have any tour dates lined up for the UK?
Unfortunately not yet. We are trying to plan a few dates around the album release and are getting in contact with the locations.
Any last words for the fans?
It is still too early for my last words. Thanks for reading and enjoy the music.