“When you feel that perfect synchronization with someone, it’s almost as if nothing else matters,” says Milky Chance guitarist/singer Clemens Rehbein. “Your worries, your anxieties, they just disappear, and all that’s left is love.”
Love’s inevitable triumph over fear lies at the heart of Milky Chance’s intoxicating new single, “Synchronize,” which feels tailor made for the times as it searches for a balance between existential dread and sentimental idealism. “Smoke in the sky got me feeling so blue / Burning down the city while I’m here with you,” Rehbein sings, evoking a year of catastrophic wildfires among other obvious signs of climate change. “Smoke in the sky and I’m holding you tight / Because I love the way we synchronize.” Recorded with fellow duo DECCO, the track is at once vintage and modern, layering a sunny ’60s melody atop a driving electro-pop rhythm section. The band’s performance, meanwhile, is nothing short of mesmerizing, fueled by breezy guitars, ethereal synthesizers, and a pulsating four-on-the-floor backbeat that grounds the whole thing in a relentless forward momentum. Add it all up and you’ve got a dark, dreamy take on the power of human connection, one that breaks fresh sonic ground as it finds comfort and escape in a lover’s embrace.
“We’re always trying to surprise ourselves in the studio,” says bassist/percussionist Phillipp Dausch. “You can get tunnel vision being constantly on the road, but we’ve had a lot more time at home these past few years, and having a break like that really helps you find some fresh perspective.”
Indeed, Milky Chance have been in perpetual motion ever since the release of their star-making debut single, “Stolen Dance.” Recorded at Rehbein’s childhood home in Kassel, Germany, the track became an international juggernaut after the band posted it online in 2013, topping charts in more than a dozen countries before crossing the Atlantic and hitting #1 on the Billboard Alternative Chart. In the years that followed, the group would go on to release three critically acclaimed full-length studio records, rack up more than five billion streams, headline massive sold-out concerts around the world, perform on nearly every late night television show, and play iconic festivals from Coachella and Lollaplooza to Bonnaroo and ACL. The duo’s latest single, “Colorado,” proved to be yet another smash, amassing nearly 100 million streams across platforms and anchoring the band’s surprise 2021’s release, Trip Tape, which featured a mix of originals, covers, demos, and remixes.
“It’s often just the two of us writing and producing,” says Dausch, “but we had such good chemistry with DECCO on ‘Colorado’ that we knew we wanted to collaborate with them again on ‘Synchronize.’ Music is all about communication and connection, and working with other people put us in touch with parts of ourselves that we’d never really explored before.”
Pushing themselves in the studio naturally led Dausch and Rehbein to push themselves in other aspects of their careers, as well. Already industry leaders with their Milky Change initiative, which promotes eco-consciousness and sustainability in the music industry by planting trees to offset the carbon footprint of touring, the band decided to make the leap and go fully independent in 2021, launching their own Muggelig Records label.
“Running our own label gives us the ability to be just as creative with how we get the music out to people as we are with how we make it,” says Dausch.
“There’s more responsibility,” adds Rehbein, “but there’s a lot more freedom, too.”
Milky Chance have come a long way over the past ten years, and while our collective fate may feel more uncertain than ever these days, one thing’s for sure: love will always be stronger than fear.