I will admit that I had never heard of them until this year’s SXSW, but Melbourne-based Totally Mild ended up on my list on the strength of “Move On” from their last album, Down Time. It’s a bubbly vocalized piece with a music video that showed the band members drinking and regurgitating milk. Hearty, mind-bending, sardonic stuff. Since then, they have delivered another short album titled Alive in Denmark.
The lead vocalist Elizabeth Mitchell has a naturally high-pitched and clear voice that resonates well. She needs to – their music is moody, expressive and forlorn with twisting passages spanning quite a range. “The Next Day” is a good example. It’s like a slower version of a coloratura’s training scales. Listening to them in the BBQ tent really made me feel like an exemplary irony. Should I feign philistine and continue to shove food down my throat, or stop chewing midway to better hear the lyrics? Test this out for yourself with “More” – I’d stop half way.
Fluttering women have no patience to stay in Texas – they belong in Sydney, Australia. That’s why they left all their exes in Texas. At least that’s the story I made up. In truth, members of All Our Exes Live In Texas are from Sydney, and so are their exes. The Texas came in for a rhyme and dime.
All Our Exes appear to have coalesced as a revenge band – and playing at SXSW while their male counterparts (also a band) fester in Sydney gave them some degree of satisfaction. One would be hard-pressed to say that they are performing out of spite. They were playful and energetic (that would be anything other than head-bobbing in folk music). In a short set consisting of just 5 songs, each is enjoyable with bright melodies and close harmony. The rendition of their showcase “Boundary Road” is fairly true to the recording. It’s fun to guess who would be singing which part, as each seem equally capable of a similar range. All in all, not bad for their first time singing live in Texas.