Like those magazines that build month by month into a complete set, we now have ‘Tastebuds’ the final instalment of Rye Milligan’s mini-pop opus EP i. Rye Milligan is the singer/songwriter/producer and guitarist in Luna Bay, and the EP also features best/friend drummer and fellow Cardigan Bay native Ceri Bain.

‘Tastebuds’ is an out and out, heartbeat skipping, sun-on-a-rainy-day, Cheshire-Cat-grinning love song. It manages to capture the feeling when love first blooms and it’s as light as candyfloss on helium and full of unabashed happy couplets about the happy couple: “Cos I’m all in and I’m falling. I’m told she’s met with butterflies in the morning And I cause it. And I caused it. Cocoa butter gifts into my tastebuds, and I’ll be fighting off the kisses when we make love. She grants me oh so many wishes with her radiance and got me trying to uphold my best behaviours”. The track was co-written with producer Edward Black a.k.a Edbl.

As with the other songs on the EP the arrangement and production allow every instrument to be heard. Nothing is overdone and everything supports the charisma of Rye Milligan’s voice. ‘Tastebuds’ also has an ending that’s delightful as it feels like it finishes halfway through a line, as if Milligan has been grabbed out of the song to fight off more kisses.

The majority of tracks are bitter-sweet pop, but the sweetness is never artificial as the soulful quality of Rye Milligan’s voice is compelling and honest. ‘Tastebuds’ joins the previous songs ‘Shiver’, ‘Run Honey’ and ‘I Want That Feeling’ to complete a quartet of joy. Each song is like a rockpool, a perfect pop microcosm of crisp guitar, electronic washes and empathic drums. These songs deliver the repeat-button catnip you would expect from a set of pop songs but, above all, it’s the warmth and charm of Rye Milligan’s voice that makes these songs stand out from the crowd.

Rye Milligan socials: Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Koji

Review by Paul F Cook

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