Milky Chance is a German folk duo with reggae and electronic music influences made up of Clemens Rehbein (vocals and instruments) and Philipp Dausch (production and DJing). Both originating from Kassel, they have several singles and one album on their own imprint, Lichtdicht Records. Their first single "Stolen Dance" was released in April 2013, peaking at No. 1 on charts in countries such as Austria, France, Belgium (Wallonia), Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary. It also won the 1Live Krone radio awards for Best Single.
The duo's debut album Sadnecessary was released in October 2013, with singles such as "Down by the River". The album peaked at number 14 in Germany, and in 2014 SPIN named Sadnecessary their Album of the Week. SPIN further described the leading single "Stolen Dance" as a "serenely rollicking crossover jam," clarifying that "the great majority of Sadnecessary follows [the song's] pattern of low-octane beats and gently lapping guitar strumming." The band made their TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in October 2014, and also won the European Border Breakers Award that month. They started a tour of North America in late 2014, performing at venues such as the House of Blues and festivals such as Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
After meeting together in school, the duo of Clemens Rehbein and Philipp Dausch finished their secondary education at Jacob-Grimm-Schule in Kassel, Germany in 2012. Both were in a jazz quartet known as Flown Tones where Rehbein played bass guitar and Dausch was a guitarist. The group disbanded after the drummer left, though Dausch and Rehbein continued to collaborate, combining electronic production with acoustic guitar and their own vocals and lyrics.
2013: "Stolen Dance"
After only playing two live shows over two weeks in 2013, the band recorded their debut album in a simple home-made studio in Rehbein's childhood home. Before finishing and releasing the record, the group released several singles on SoundCloud and on YouTube. In an interview with Edmonton's Sonic 102.9, the band said that it took them three years to write the song "Stolen Dance". It was first uploaded to YouTube 4 April 2013 and quickly became a viral hit, racking up millions of views. Wrote SPIN about the video, "the clip for 'Stolen Dance' nails the visual for its artist in a way that feels definitive and not overly self-conscious. It's still without being static, evocative while not provocative, silly but never stupid." The video made the band the "most blogged about act" for that month on HypeM, and as of February 2016 holds over 220 million views on YouTube. The day after the video was released, the song "Stolen Dance" was first released on their own label Lichtdicht Records on 5 April 2013 as a single and reached number one in Austria, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary. The band began a 100+ show tour, driving across Europe with allegedly simply "a guitar and a set of decks."
Sadnecessary is the debut studio album by the group, released in Germany on 1 October 2013. The album includes the singles "Stolen Dance" and "Down by the River". The album has peaked to number 14 in Germany, and it charted at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 chart. They toured in support of the album, and on 5 December 2013, they won the 1Live Krone radio awards for the Best Single with "Stolen Dance."
"Down by the River", a song from Sadnecessary, was re-released as a single on 28 March 2014 in Germany through Lichtdicht Records. The song has charted in France, Germany, Switzerland and United Kingdom, and also appears in EA Sports game, FIFA 15. After a successful tour, "Stolen Dance" was made available in a radio edit version and on two different versions of Stolen Dance EP under various labels in 2014, in regions such as in Luxembourg (where it also went to number one), Australia, US, Canada, New Zealand.
2014: International recognition
Their first show in the United States was in October 2014, in a sold-out performance at the Bowery Ballroom in New York City. Sadnecessary was released in the United States a year after its release in Germany, coming out on October 14, 2014. It received largely positive press from North American critics, and within a day of its release SPIN named Sadnecessary their Album of the Week. SPIN further described the leading single "Stolen Dance" as a "serenely rollicking crossover jam," clarifying that the song "is no red herring — the great majority of Sadnecessary follows in its pattern of low-octane beats and gently lapping guitar strumming, making for a lovely and understated album."
The band made their TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on 22 October 2014, and that day they were nominated for Best Band at the German radio award 1Live Krone. They also won the European Border Breakers Award that month, and on 16 September 2014, they were nominated as Best German Act at the MTV European Music Awards. They toured the United States and Canada in late 2014. They were also guest artists on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and they played the House of Blues in April 2015, with plans to return to Boston as part of their upcoming North American Summer Tour. Also in April they played at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, with their album Sadnecessary at that point having been on the Billboard 200 for 23 weeks. "Stolen Dance" entered the Shazam Hall Of Fame at No. 15, as one of the most "shazamed" songs of all time.
Style and equipment
|"[We both] hear things very much the same, it's like having the same ears. We totally understand the way we're sounding from each other and have the same vision for our music."|
|— Philipp Dausch in 2014|
Describing the band as "singer-songwriter with electronic beats," according to USA Today, the band also incorporates elements of folk, reggae, and jazz. The music publication Noisey wrote, "The pair masterfully combines house and electronic beats with reggae and R&B influences; the lyrics, though, could have been written by a folk singer." The band has cited diverse artists as influences, including reggae and rock artists such as Bob Marley, Ray Charles, and John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers.
The band uses a relatively simple equipment setup both live and in the studio, and their debut releases were recorded in 2013 with only a MacBook Pro, a guitar, a microphone, and Logic Pro. Rehbein will often write a song on guitar without lyrics, with Dausch then producing the track. The group also periodically performs and records acoustically, bringing in guest instrumentalists.
- Current as of 2016
- Clemens Rehbein (2012–present) – guitar, vocals
- Philipp Dausch (2012–present) – Digital audio workstation, turntables, drums
- Antonio Greger (since 2015) – harmonica, bass
Awards and nominations
|2013||1Live Krone||"Stolen Dance"||Best Single||Won|
|2014||Milky Chance||Best Band||Nominated|
|MTV European Music Awards||Best German Act||Nominated|
|Los Premios 40 Principales||Best International New Act||Nominated|
|2015||European Border Breakers Awards||Sadnecessary||Best Album||Won|
|Milky Chance||Public Choice Award||Nominated|
- Studio albums
- Sadnecessary (2013)
- Extended plays
- Stolen Dance EP (2013)