We first encountered ‘Mill’s Theme’ in demo form back in January, and felt compelled to reach out to FOLD, just to pay our respects and be nosey about the track’s future. He was still looking for a label at the time, but two months later Leon Vynehall picked it for his Essential Mix, either because of or an accessory to getting signed by Moxie’s On Loop imprint.
Context aside, why is ‘Mill’s Theme’ worthy of all this praise? From the first bar, we hear a melody in the distance, muffled and indistinct but with all the hallmarks of a winner. Maracas soon add an extra touch of spice over the heavy kick drum and so the simple formula continues til past three minutes, but still ‘Mill’s Theme’ is only just getting started.
It takes two more lulls in the arrangement before we’re finally greeted with the vocal hook at 5 minutes and, if you hadn’t working it out by the elegant guitar work bubbling up in the first half, the “never gonna leave you” refrain is revealed as an Evan Pyramid’s 1978 rendition that borrows the same name. A Cure-esque guitar loop from later in the original enters as 7 minutes approach, marking the track’s dash to the finish.
Fold’s interpretation may not have the grace and elegance of the original, but then it doesn’t pretend to. What it does well, is pick the best bits out and change its character through a patient build-up, turning tenderness into tension and melancholy into euphoria. Moxie must’ve known she’d struck gold from the first few seconds she press play on the demo nearly a year ago.
Mill’s Theme EP is out 23rd Jan – pre-order from Juno.