Anyone who says that intriguing prog rock is a thing of the past has not yet heard New Zealand’s Mice On Stilts. “Khandallah” is the lead single from their second album Hope for a Mourning, which is released on April 15 (on Aeroplane Music Records). The song is as exotic as its name. Both ethereal and complex at the same time, it is described as being “a universal love song about finding a space where two individuals exist without anxiety or expectation of each other, romantic or otherwise.”
Take an elegant dive into this intricately layered music that will wash over you with cinematic drama. You’ll be treated to entrancing kaleidoscopic soundscapes — and that’s just one song (“Orca”). As the album continues, it feels like you’re drifting, trance-like, through a surrealistic dream. With titles such as “And We Saw His Needs Through The Casket,” “Hope For A Mourning” and “Funeral,” you’re not going to find fluffy inconsequential pop music here. Instead, count on a proper haunting, with contemplative storytelling, a compelling voice that draws you immediately into the scene, delicate strings, tinkling piano and, at times, a chorus of dark angels.
Mice on Stilts hails from Tāmaki Makaurau, Aotearoa. Formed in 2011, their debut EP was An Ocean Held Me (2013). They blend violin and horns to classic guitar, bass, drums and piano. The band features Guy Harrison (piano), Tim Burrows (bass), Rob Sanders (drums), Sam Loveridge (voilin, guitar), Charlie Isdale (violin, sax) and Benjamin Morley (guitars, vocals).