Singaporean neo-soul outfit The Steve McQueens have released a new single, ‘Mila Ascending’.
Released today (July 16) via Umami Records, the track is the first taste of their upcoming album, ‘The Observer’, which will arrive on September 16. That day, the band will launch the album with a show at the Esplanade Concert Hall.
The six-minute odyssey finds the four-piece in familiar territory: Vocalist Eugenia Yap cruises over silky-smooth keys, intuitive basslines and abrupt time signature shifts, which all lead to an infectious coda.
The Steve McQueens had previously promised new material that would poke “at the culture clash between jazz traditionalists and the new vanguard”, and ‘Mila Ascending’ delivers.
Listen to the song below.
In a press statement, keyboardist Joshua Wan elaborated on the song’s title: “‘Mila Ascending’ is about the 3 cornerstones of maturing: Expectations / maintenance, thinking vs feeling, failure and eating cow tongue. Coincidentally, these also apply to cheese…”
‘The Observer’ will be the band’s fifth studio release following 2017’s ‘TERRAЯIUM’, and it follows up their four-track EP from 2020, ‘Tape One’.
“I think one of our goals was to capture the energy and intimacy of live performance, to make the music really speak, and to allow a restlessness to pervade that would let you hear something different at every listening,” the Steve McQueens said of the new album.
“We think of that as the ‘tilt’ – chords that don’t go where you’d expect, sections that morph and discarded beats strewn everywhere that kinda throw you off-balance a little. I mean, what’s the point of so much predictability? Or maybe we’re just borderline sociopaths; it’s hard to say.”
Further details about their album launch concert have yet to be released. The Steve McQueens consist of Yap and Wan, along with Jase Sng (bass) and Anson Koh (drums).