AGNES MILEWSKI - BIOGRAPHY
Agnès Milewski was born in Poland in 1983 and immigrated to Austria when she was four years old, where she soon after began lessons for both classical guitar and piano. She gathered band experience through the years, but by the age of 24 was eager to branch out on her own, and released her debut album “Pretty Boys and Ugly Girls” a mature work strongly influenced by the likes of Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos, which garnered European-wide attention and brought her the Amadeus “Best Newcomer” award in 2008.
In 2009 she continued with the release of her second album “Learn to Swim”, an ambitious sophomore effort which included more complex arrangements and put her dexterous musical skills and interests on full display; She brought everything from RnB to Reggae, through to Drum n’ Bass and Metal-infused guitar sounds, practically everything which would improbably and, certainly unexpectedly, become reduced to a musical common denominator. The well-formed and structured songs are to be thanked for the success of the musical potpourri found on the album, and in its entirety the album functions as an unshackling from the external lasciviousness of easy marketability. Conventions and connotations about the fictive genre of “female pop” lead to nowhere and thanks to the relevance of her songwriting prowess, are firmly placed there to stay. Throughout the album, her lyrical and crystal clear voice float above the art form she has set out to create, and her voice is both fun-loving and intense and detached, which fully engages the listener, just as one might expect from the craft of her self-proclaimed influences mentioned above.
In 2013 the songwriter presented her clearly matured and finely sculpted musical work, both in her use and approach in the studio, which shows a break with her previous working method until now. “Almost Spring” was recorded in a completely live context, giving precedent to the flow and not track by track moments. Additionally there are a host of new collaborators, such as the Irish guitarist Eddie McLachlan who is responsible for an acoustic folk sound, beat-boxing flutists Walter Till, the drummer Bernd Bechtloff as well as the Austrian folk legend Stephan “Stoney” Steiner. The organic and analog feel of the album, including only (with one exception) classical instruments, gives a snapshot of the craft and integrity of Milewski and band. The compositions were crafted in Vienna on a handful of winter nights, as well as in a 200 year old house on the Irish west coast. With references to Shubert’s song cycle “Winter Journey” the early resignation is dismantled piece by piece and replaced with hopeful expectation, such as is the felling from winter entering early spring. The importance of the lyrics is now tantamount to the music, and both require equal attention and engagement from the listener.