“Milk” is an immediately engaging rocker with stronger ties to something resembling late classic rock—Peter Gabriel comes to mind, or early Michael Penn—than what we are used to hearing in our indie-rock-centric new century. Consider it a good thing. On the one hand, wholesale rejection of the past is a tiresome (not to mention lazy) artistic premise. On the other hand, diversity sustains us. And I’m talking honest diversity, not lip-service diversity, not photo-op diversity, and not (for heaven’s sake) diversity minus substance and qualification (any resemblance to a certain unexpected political announcement from the past week is entirely intentional).
But I digress. Chris Letcher—hey, yet another Fingertips veteran; three for three this week, for the first time—is a South African-born, London-based singer/songwriter whose experience, likewise, as a film composer no doubt informs his capacity to construct dramatic and unusual soundscapes, even in the context of a three-minute pop song. Through the judicious use of strings, percussion, and Letcher’s signature harmonium, “Milk” maintains an orchestral feeling even as it moves with a brisk, rock-like clarity which highlights the melody’s succinct tension. This version of “Milk” is a so-called “radio edit” of a song that appeared on Letcher’s Deep Frieze CD; it appears on his Harmonium EP, which was released earlier this summer on Sheer Sound/2 Feet label.