A Piece of Me (ep)
She’s Boss Music
Sandy Mill has spent almost her entire career to date working with others – from sessions to live dates, special guest moments, or part of the full-time band…it’s seen her recording or performing with local and international artists from the big names (Placebo, Neil Finn) to the regular gigs (SJD) to surprise cameos and plenty of risks being taken along the way. A gig is a gig and Sandy will turn up to do the work.
But along the way she’s been honing her solo act, working away at her own writing.
And the first real evidence is here now with her debut EP – there’s a full-length album on the way, and on the strength of that there should be plenty to look forward to. But first things first – A Piece of Me is a wonderful, finite piece of work. A hint at what’s to come from a full-lengther, but not just a stop-gap. This is the result of the last few years of graft.
And, winningly, it’s available on vinyl – since Sandy is a reputable DJ and vinyl enthusiast.
The band is Milan Borich on drums, Andrew Park on bass and Jeremy Toy on guitars. You’ll hear Sean Donnelly and Dianne Swann’s backing vocals on several of the tracks and Sandy adds percussion and BVs too. But it’s all about her voice on the ballads, little bits of soul and groove with a side of rocking out.
We kick off with Let It Go which feels like a throwback to late 90s/early 00s Kiwi rock and pop – Bic Runga’s louder moments come to mind. It’s a strong way to fire out from the blocks but I prefer the groove that builds up behind Light of Day; I think of Adele’s very first album – before she was selling bedsit drama and crying spritz-tears over dud love; back when she was just issuing a soul stamp, not telegraphing big-pageant balladry.
Hey Debonair slows things down further, with a guitar figure that is Dusty Springfield/Nancy Sinatra cool.
Giftbox is a summery Motown mood, done Kiwi-style of course. And another of the highlights here. You’re carried away and along by Mill’s voice.
The closer is Charade, acoustic and electric guitars between the conversation, and Mill shows the influence of Prince on her songwriting. It’s a great way for this EP to end. And, yes, it’s a shame that it has to end. But it’s a business-card of sorts; little musical breadcrumbs…and there are more to come.
This is worth your time. But hopefully the wait to a satiating full-lengther is not too long.