Mild Horses – ‘Ignorance to Enlightenment and Back Again’ – Essentially Pop
Mild Horses, the newish incarnation of Matthew Leuw (Crest, Coin-op, 2 Hot 2 Sweat), blends dream pop guitar, synths and electronics to create his brand new 8 track album ‘Ignorance to Enlightenment and Back Again’.
Following a hiatus from past projects, and music making in general, Matthew Leuw has braved the studio again, describing the creative process for new album ‘Ignorance to Enlightenment and Back Again’ as “something of a career retrospective combining some of the sounds of my previous bands with an ambition to create something new and make up for lost time.”
The new album from Mild Horses kicks off with the frenzied energy of ‘Hotmail Viagra’. We really see the quirkiness of this artist with swirling machine-like whirs being blasted from the guitar underneath a thrashing of yet more guitars and speakerphone-like half spoken vocals. The second track ‘Mild Horses’ erupts into unbridled joy and euphoria with the sudden presence of a brass section which lifts the song and brings it sharply into focus.
Each song brings its own unique soundscape to the album. References to dream pop aesthetics tie it back together in a loose way. There is plenty of space to breath in this album, and the journey of the album is refreshingly fluid. Clocking in at 8 and a half minutes long, ‘Somewhere Between’ rewards the patient listener with a slow build of sound and texture that leaves you feeling like you just got out of a meditation class.
‘Falling Upwards’ comes crashing down around you in the best way. Dousing you in dreamy almost psychedelic textures, with roaring distorted guitars jolting you back to life. This shining single is certainly a standout in the album, brightly reliving the best of 90s Shoegaze sounds.
If Mild Horses is a project about Matthew Leuw reclaiming his creativity after his hiatus then ‘Ignorance to Enlightenment and Back Again’ feels like a much needed release for this artist as he plays around with different noises, textures, structures and styles. It sounds like a rediscovery of his creative voice, and listening to the album allows you to take part in some of that journey. Ranging from the frenzied energy of ‘Hotmail Viagra’ to the serenity of ‘Mid Morning Cowboy’, there is something for all music fans in this release.
Matthew Leus, previously involved with Norwich noise-poppers Crest, skronky Brighton art-punks Coin-op and was the guitar playing half of the lo-fi electro pop group 2 Hot 2 Sweat, has played with huge names in the world of rock including Deathcab For Cutie, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Mogwai and British Sea Power. He has also recorded radio sessions for Radio One (John Peel, Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens), XFM and Virgin Radio and played festivals such as Latitude and SXSW.
His new one-man project Mild Horses brings together all his musical past lives in the guise of debut album ‘Ignorance to Enlightenment and Back Again’.
Listen to Mild Horses on Bandcamp.