Artist: Mikaela Kahn
Album: Milk & Honey
Label: Hawk Cove Records
Release Date: 04/14/2015
Austin, TX based singer/songwriter Mikaela Kahn does an excellent job of bringing in a wide variety of influences on her debut, Milk & Honey. On her new EP, Kahn presents a stripped down R&B sound that incorporates a strong pop approach, as well.
The highlight of the EP is undoubtedly “Chemical Attraction,” which seamlessly balances her biggest influences, resulting in an impressive mosaic of sounds. The instrumental music is excellent and much of the melody and backup harmonies are reminiscent of Lauryn Hill’s solo work, while simultaneously embracing the pop sensibility of Songs in A Minor-era Alicia Keys.
Many of the instrumentals on Milk & Honey feature notably inspired guitar work by Jordan Burchill. Burchill’s playing creates a jazzy atmosphere while still allowing Kahn’s vocal performances to remain in the spotlight.
The soulful “I Want To” utilizes production that sounds strikingly similar to Drake or The Weeknd. While the track is interesting, it unfortunately overstays its welcome with a chorus that sounds slightly too mainstream for its unconventional beat. At her best Mikaela Kahn is reminiscent of the highpoints of late 1990s neo-soul, but at her worst she comes off as slightly too polished for the soulful approach that she is reaching for. Mikaela Kahn’s Milk & Honey is a promising but ultimately flawed debut.
– Landon Gampel