(12 March 2013) The third full length album by AgnŔs Milewski is a twelve track collection of new material the artists recorded together in the studio without the undying precision of computers. Almost Spring (Mokshamusic & Office4Music (Austria), MoMu011, 2013) is an incredible testament to the singer songwriter and her accompanying artists and demonstrates significant growth since Milewski's last album Learn To Swim (2009) (review).
The artist emerged with a debut album two years earlier entitled Pretty Boys and Ugly Girls (review). The CD is delivered in a glossy tri-fold paper sleeve. A removable full color booklet evokes the album's theme and features a full libretto and lovely photos of the artist.
Agne╠s Milewski was born in Poland but for many years has lived in Austria. Today she is based in Vienna and European tours are drawing enthusiastic audiences to see her team perform on stage. Read more about Agne╠s Milewski and the making of Almost Spring in our exclusive interview. Agnes provided exclusive photos to Musical Discoveries that have been published within the interview.
Waiting for spring seemed like an eternity for singer-songwriter Agne╠s Milewski. With the new album her winter journey finally has come to an end. While outside the faint sunshine of the first warm days makes the ice melt, Milewski takes one more trip with her new single "Drive You Home."
"The summer ended with a lot of rain, autumn was way too short, and then came the winter. It brought not only snow, but mainly that freezing cold, that biting wind that cuts through all your clothes and lets your muscles stiffen", says Milewski. Her own winter lasted almost two years, with lessons to be learned and new paths to be taken.
Thematically inspired by Schubert's "Winterreise", the singer-songwriter went on her very own musical journey. She found traces of folk ("Wintertime"), jazz ("Mr. Misleading") and gospel ("Row The Boat") in the snow and packed them with her specific, Irish influenced songwriting style, just like in a handy travel case. Allusions to Tori Amos' sound have not been lost, alothough Agnes has added a range of styles in this tremendous new album. The time taken to prepare the delicate string and woodwind arrangements produced an outstanding result.
Milewski's third studio album had twelve completely enchanting new songs. The brittle cold of the journey shows in the sparsely orchestrated pieces, arranged with only piano or acoustic guitars, ukulele and vocals, while beatbox bass flute and earthy percussion on the other hand make the snow melt. Over all there is Milewski's fascinating voice, a riot in colours like the fresh blossoms of spring. Listen for the significant emotion embedded in her vocal delivery.
"The songs were partly written on snowy winter evenings in Vienna and partly in a 200-year old cottage somewhere on the west coast of Ireland, cut off from the rest of the world." Agne╠s Milewski recounts the genesis of Almost Spring. On her winter journey Agne╠s formed congenial musical partnerships with Irish guitarist Eddie McLachlan, the Vienna beatbox flautist Walter Till, and Bernd Bechtloff, former drummer with Hubert von Goisern and well as Austrian folk legend Stephan 'Stoney' Steiner, an international team reaching out from Austria to the world.
With subtle references to Schubert's Winterreise, these twelve songs represent Agne╠s Milewski's own personal journey through a long winter to a long awaited spring awakening. Read more about the story in our interview with Agne╠s.
Agne╠s perfectly delivers the lyrics and contributes stunning arrangements to Almost Spring. Her voice
is crystalline while powerful and emotive. Additional layers provide texture to the finished tracks. She has achieved perfection in the new album. Bravo!