Romantic walk through the old forest in the starry night.
To say that Maciej Milewski is following trends and trying to imitate Bon Iver is a big simplification and it’s equally insignificant. The multi-instrumentalist, composer and vocalist from Gdańsk goes one step further by bringing nostalgic pop and folk music imbued with incredible authenticity.
In recent years, there were many Polish musicians who tried to imitate Justin Vernon. Some have managed to achieve great success and attract the attention of the wider public. Over time, this audience began to demand more than just simple, tedious songs and romantic lyrics. On the Polish scene, there was a lack of space for boys with a guitar, who were singing falsetto about their love affairs. It was time to go one step further.
Milewski, who gained musical experience in jazz projects, decided to present solo works under the pseudonym MajLo. His debut album, Over The Woods, is a mixture of songs with a common denominator: authenticity. The way Milewski leads the listener through his narrative is overwhelming and sincere. There is a lot of reasons to associate him with Keaton Hanson, Ben Howard or When Saints Go Machine — the characteristic timbre of Milewski’s voice resembles that of Nikolai Manuel Vonsild, the Danish singer. Contrary to Bon Iver’s work, MajLo has less catchy choruses and definitely more experiments aimed at detaching the listener from reality. Milewski does not lack the courage to smuggle a bit of jazz (“Get Down”) to pop tracks. The twelve songs on Over The Woods are a perfect complement to an autumn afternoon spent under a blanket with a large cup of hot tea. MajLo’s music sounds like therapy for an emotional drama — having a calming effect on the whole nervous system of a man.
Let’s go back to Bon Iver for a moment. Over The Woods reminds us of For Emma, Forever Ago because of the instrumentation used during song recording and the substance of the songs. At moments, even Milewski’s voice and singing mannerisms are dangerously close to Vernon’s style. This is not an objection to the musician from Gdańsk, but on the contrary, the music of MajLo shows that much more can be built on the acoustical sound and nostalgic message. Let’s find out: who of us is not a fan of this combination?