The hard working Millie Manders is a badass singer songwriter from South London, who, like the city, has quite a cosmopolitan approach. There is a punky attitude to the rocked up ska tinged tunes that create a backdrop for her socially conscious lyrics and cutting vocals; the four tracks on her third EP showcasing her multiple talents succinctly as she tackles subjects as diverse as the media’s perception of women and possessive/abusive relationships.
Title track ‘Obsession Transgression’ kicks off in upbeat fashion with an insistent sax riff and low-fi guitars. The vocals are sharp on the hooky chorus and the ska vibe gives it a cool retro feel. ‘Teddy’, however, is quirkier with its mooching bass line and slightly manic vocal; it actually reminds me of early Florence demos and there is a certain charm to the punky simplicity of it, although the saxophone once again adds dimension.
‘Bacchus’ has a more serious tone, the swirling sax riff building intensely, while a deeper vocal fits the ode to alcohol use and abuse well. Millie has great range, not only of tone but also style, dictating the emotional vibe of her songs with apparent ease. Everything comes together on the sublime groove of final track ‘Long Gone’; again the vibe is more serious and there’s a suitably intense vocal performance, superb horns and some great guitar work as the song ebbs and flows.
At only four tracks long the EP is on the short side, which is a shame because I’d like to hear more from Millie, the last two tracks especially, hinting at some serious potential. I’m not sure she has the same mainstream appeal of a Florence or a Marina but there is obviously great passion in her art and it will be interesting to see what she comes up with next.