Sydney-based singer, guitarist and producer Milan Ring has detailed her forthcoming debut album, sharing the news alongside its evocative lead single, ‘Pick Me Up’.
Released today (October 7), the new track – which also features a verse from genre-bending Chicago artist Jean Deaux – is carried by a thumping beat accented with tonally varied clicks and pops, a low, pulsing bassline simmering along underneath it. Ring’s own guitar playing is ethereal, slathered in reverb and phaser effects.
‘Pick Me Up’ arrives alongside a film clip, directed by Natasha Foster (Entropico) and choreographed by Sela Vai, with Ring singing along to the track as a dance troupe performs a routine around her. Several shots feature Ring with her white Fender Stratocaster in tow, strumming along to the track’s sparse melody.
Take a look at the film clip for ‘Pick Me Up’ below:
A press release notes that ‘Pick Me Up’ touches on themes of “vanity, sexuality and confidence in a blurry club setting”, with themes of royalty and beauty highlighted by the symbolic Hindu gesture (or mudra) of Allapadma being the central focus of the single’s cover art.
The single comes as Ring’s third for 2021, following ‘BS’ (which also featured London rapper Che Lingo) back in April, and ‘Hide With You’ in May. All three tracks will appear on Ring’s forthcoming debut album, ‘I’m Feeling Hopeful’, announced today and set for release on December 3 via Astral People / [PIAS].
In addition to the international guest spots on ‘BS’ and ‘Pick Me Up’, the album also sports a pair of Australian features. Malyangapa, Barkindji rapper BARKAA appears on the track ‘Let It Glide’, with today’s statement teasing that “two powerful and deeply impactful verses [complement] Milan’s raw and obscured approach to both the song’s production and her vocals”.
Western Sydney multi-hyphenate BLESSED added co-production and vocals to the track ‘Sydney Hue’, described as “woozy and tender” and said to be “both a nod to the city they call home, and their parallel experiences of disconnection, love and loss”.
As its title implies, the album as a whole will have an overall hopeful slant, with hope being “a motivating force” for Ring throughout its creative process. It explores topics of “love (for others and for the self), relationships, control, freedom, the critical mind, depression, desires and addiction from many different perspectives”, with Ring saying that all of the tracks are rooted in “my observations of the world around me and the world within”.
‘I’m Feeling Hopeful’ was written, recorded, executively produced and mixed by Ring in her Marrickville studio.
The full tracklisting for ‘I’m Feeling Hopeful’ is:
1. ‘Hide With You’
2. ‘Take Me Away’
3. ‘BS (feat. Che Lingo)’
4. ‘I Can Fix You’
5. ‘Sydney Hue (feat. BLESSED)’
6. ‘Pick Me Up (feat. Jean Deaux)’
10. ‘Keep Me Safe’
11. ‘Let It Glide (feat. Barkaa)’
14. ‘Hands Are Tied’