Mild Universe unleash vintage and groovy bop “Sunday”

On their new single “Sunday,” Mild Universe rides an undeniable groove back in time to a fabulous night at a San Francisco disco club in 1993.

Mild Universe is an up-and-coming San Francisco collective who make jazzy, disco-inspired, pop and dance music. Their new single “Sunday” is one of the livest-sounding dance anthems you’ll hear all year.

The band is undeniably retro. They wear their love of 90s dance-punk and disco proudly – all vintage synths, classic funky basslines, wonderfully over the top saxophone. It’s rare you hear the energy of live 90s dance music so fully and faithfully captured. But where some disco homages end up either too derivative, or lifelessly dolled up, Mild Universe takes the genre’s energy and makes it their own, blending and bending contemporary aesthetics into their music. They sound a bit like the Brooklyn-based psych-pop band Crumb, but where Crumb is a tripped-out late-night car ride, Mild Universe is the rickety party-van speeding past them.

The energy of their music feels totally live – there’s something about the playful pocket, the buzzy noise of the bass amp, the energetic interplay between the instruments that puts you right in the room with them. The groove on “Sunday” is truly fabulous – all swung hats and self-assured strolling bass lines. The band rides along the rolls of the track, guiding it up and down – tight live rhythm-section and dry vocals letting loose into wide spinning sax, energetic fills, and layered delays. It’s very much the pull and push of a good club hit – build up, drop, then reel the energy back in.

The back half of the song switches into a completely unexpected breakdown – toms, panned percussion loops, fast, expressive bass licks, and the funkiest synth licks this side of the year 2000. The band leaves you in an almost head crunching passage of distorted bass and sax. It’s the sound of slowly returning to your proper spot in the space-time continuum – your all-too-brief trip stay in vintage dance paradise slipping away.

“Sunday” is one of three track’s off Mild Universe‘s debut self-titled EP, out now. Listen “Sunday” below or via our Best Tracks of 2021 playlist.

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