Posted on: September 12, 2023 Posted by: Aaron_George Comments: 0
Widely beloved and critically celebrated award-winning Naarm/Melbourne-based psychedelic jazz outfit Mildlife today return with new single and video “Return to Centaurus”.

Out now on Heavenly Recordings, “Return to Centaurus” marks the band’s first new material since the release of their lauded, ARIA Award-winning 2020 second studio album Automatic. Opening with droning synths and a wall of horizontal, Kraftwerk-esque vocoders, “Return to Centaurus” evolves from psychedelic space rock into a gloriously hook-heavy acid funk meltdown over the course of its ten-minute-long trip time. Luxuriating in loping, velvet-draped bass lines, sparkling, funk-laced guitar riffs and intricate, morphological percussion, it distills Mildlife’s unwavering adoration for the beguiling realms of 70’s psychedelic and cosmic sounds, owing as much to Sun Ra and Alice Coltrane as it does Ennio Morricone and Giorgio Moroder.
Channeling its astral namesake – home to the closest two stars to earth, Proxima and Alpha Centauri – “Return to Centaurus” conjures up images of nature which are not so much earth-bound as they are loftier and more grandiose whilst simultaneously more molecular and microscopic. Here, Mildlife’s exploratory, star-hopping cosmo-jazz feels completely in tune with the universe, from the most gargantuan of supergiants to the most miniscule of mitochondria. It suggests that the thread between the two is always there, invisible but omnipresent and not as far as you might think, just waiting to be given expression. Infinite, boundless and palatial, “Return to Centaurus” feels sweeping enough to house the birth of entire universes; it represents Mildlife stepping boldly into the unknown – and invites us to do the same. 
Directed by Jordan Giusti, the surreal “Return to Centaurus” video finds the four members lounging around an artful, mid-century mod-meets-70’s space futurism living room, seemingly locked in deep, enigmatic ponderance, a slow series of mesmeric zooms revealing the solar systems both within and without. 
On the new single and video, the band cryptically share: “We liked imagining a room that our minds inhabit together while we’re in hyper sleep on the way to a distant constellation. As our bodies lay still in a capsule tucked in the closet of a fast-moving craft, our minds meet in this artificial room designed by someone or something else. The room is a tool to keep our minds limber as our human forms spin against time in the physical world. Is it a room within a room though? Does your body lay still in a capsule as your mind watches this clip? Are we all returning together? Who knows. It was fun to draw on each other and watch Adsy take his true form as the silver Mark anyway.
Listen to “Return Of Centaurus” HERE
Oozing onto the scene with their 2017 debut LP Phase, Mildlife have swiftly grown into one of Australia’s most acclaimed acts, carving out a niche wholly of their own, one that traverses jazz, dance and psychedelic music into a curiously singular, entirely entrancing and moveable amalgam greater than the sum of its individual parts. The record earned the band numerous award nominations, including Best Album at the Worldwide FM Awards in 2018, Best Independent Jazz Album at the 2019 AIR Awards and winning Best Electronic Act at the Music Victoria Awards, amongst others. 
Released in 2020, Mildlife’s second studio full-length Automatic consolidated the successes of Phase whilst also marking a step-change from its predecessor, debuting at #8 on the ARIA Album Charts upon release. More discipline, directional and arguably more danceable than their debut, Automatic garnered plaudits from across the critical spectrum, with praise from NME AU (Best Australian Albums of 2020), Mixdown (“their most immersive listening experience to date”), The Age, The Guardian, CLASH, MTV AU, Brooklyn Vegan and more, including a four star review from The Sydney Morning Herald (“a skillful juggle of sonic ingredients”) and a four-and-a-half star review in Rolling Stone AU, who dubbed the album “the record of a lifetime”. With airplay across triple j, Double J, BBC Radio 6Music and feature album placements at FBi Radio, 3RRR and 2SERAutomatic also nabbed Mildlife nominations for Best Live Act and Best Group at the 2021 Music Victoria Awards, alongside being shortlisted for Best Independent Jazz Album at the 2021 AIR Independent Music Awards. It all culminated in the band winning their first-ever ARIA Award for Best Jazz Album in 2021, which was promptly followed up the next year with yet another win for the recording of their Mildlife Live At South Channel Island motion picture, an hour-long performance that saw the band masterfully recreate the magic of their much-vaunted live shows framed by the gorgeous surrounds of Port Phillip Bay. 
In the years since, Mildlife have performed over 100 shows in 23 different countries, selling out multiple national headlining tours and embarking on several UK, North American and European tours  and enamouring crowds with euphoric festival sets at Splendour in the Grass, Meredith Music Festival, Strawberry Fields, A Festival Called Panama and more. 

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