Kellen Mills 2020
Enforced procrastination as an excuse for sonic escapades makes international ensemble go the distance.
Berlin has long been the melting pot for artists with experimental streak, and the social-distancing era took their creativity to the boiling point. At least that’s how Kellen Mills felt right after self-isolation became the order of the day, when TRYON – the ALEX’S HAND lynchpin’s new project – launched their debut. This 11-minute EP, comprising three compositions, turned our suddenly-small world into something quite unexpected, full of curious twists and arresting at any given moment.
Flowing into focus as a flute-defined medieval melody, the mini-album’s title track swiftly trades woodwind vibrancy for a serrated guitar riff and dips Erik Leuthäuser’s voice in Mills’ quasi-orchestral brew to an inebriating effect – almost vertiginous when his ivories venture into cosmic swirl for a solo. Deceptively calmer, “Saving Till The End” may offer a sultry trip towards pop-drama which will land on heavy worry but bossa nova licks and Kellen’s bass rumble take this cut for a carnival ride. Still, it’s the adventurous fusion of “Solitude By Numbers” that’s the most riveting piece on display, highlighting the group’s progressive tendencies and whetting one’s appetite for a full-blown album.
Once one arrives – better sooner than later – our small world is bound to expanse, with “Wasted Time” building momentum to this glorious event.