Live Review: Mylk ‘Unplugged’ with Jackson Howard and Stasi was an exploration of what makes Melbourne’s local scene so vital

At the historic Brunswick live music venue The Retreat Hotel, Melbourne-based band Mylk organised an acoustic performance along with some close friends for a great night of live music. The group of Melbourne boys amassed close friends and fans to fill out the classic live music venue for a night of soulful and polished alternative rock.

The band’s blend of melancholic lyrics and great guitar work caters to an acoustic setting extremely well – as did the performances of both of the openers, Melbourne’s Stasi, and the Melbourne-born but Canberra-based artist Jackson Howard. Mylk has a number of singles on Triple J Unearthed, which received resoundingly positive reviews, and also have a video for their excellent song “Internet Cafe” which was released at the start of the year.

Stasi began proceedings, with a quick set that showcased a lot of vocal talent, establishing a great atmosphere in the venue – setting the stage for the later acts. Jackson followed up with a number of his own original tracks – opening song “The Artist” is a beautiful and heartfelt track, dealing with the making of bad decisions and the emotional implications that come with that. Jackson’s brand of emotive and direct writing shined through across his set, all featuring excellent guitar and vocal work.

The cover of Father John Misty’s fan-favourite “Went to the Store One Day” was a beautiful rendition that did the song justice and also fit into the overall thematic landscape of a lot of Jackson’s music – fitting seamlessly into his performance of a number of original tracks. Closing track, “Violet/Green” brought on Mylk Guitarist Harry for some backing instrumentation that set up the transition into Mylk’s set seamlessly.

Mylk came on to draw a close to the evening, playing a number of their released singles such as “Day 4” and “Internet Cafe”. “Day 4” was a major standout, with the acoustic rendition featuring a slight stylistic shift that still complemented the song extremely well. The track is currently released on Triple J Unearthed – The lyrics are heartfelt and emotive, evoking feelings of turmoil and longing – with some excellent vocal delivery on the chorus that provided a great bit of intensity to the performance.

Organising an acoustic event such as this requires some implicit planning with regards to the styles of artists selected – and Unplugged had a perfect crop that all presented incredible performances to The Retreat Hotel. There were similarities in the brand of melancholic alternative rock performed throughout the night, which made the event feel really cohesive and collaborative and allowed all artists to show their strengths in a small scale setting.

Events like this are what makes local live music a huge fixture in Australian music – friends working together to develop their passion, and present their polished work to friends, family, and fans. All of these artists have great potential, and new and old fans alike should keep an eye on them – as whatever is to come will be worth a listen.

FIVE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

For more on Mylk, head to their official Facebook page. They’ll next play at Revolver Upstairs on 13th September, and at The B.EAST, also in Melbourne, on September 20th.

The reviewer attended the show at The Retreat Hotel in Melbourne on 11th September.

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