So strikingly intimate, it feels like it was recorded in their bedroom
Rock albums about marriage may be rare, but they exist — John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy is one of the more famous examples. Electronic music that honors the bonds of a committed relationship is even less common; synths have a long history with dance music, which typically concerns itself with a carnality that’s far more fleeting. Mike Milosh — the androgynous voice of the initially mysterious duo Rhye — here teams with his wife Alexa Nikolas, the muse of that group’s debut album Woman, for a record that’s strikingly, and at times almost uncomfortably, intimate. Unusually warm and explicitly corporeal, it feels as though it was recorded in their bedroom.
Featuring found sounds recorded during their international travels as well as samples of their more recent Los Angeles domesticity, that intimacy is literal as well as metaphoric. Like Woman, Jetlag celebrates their newly intertwined physical and emotional states. “Love that we’re each other with each other,” Milosh sings in “Hold Me,” the album’s longest and most climactic song, “No faces to hide, no faulty sides.” Once again there’s plenty of eroticism. “I want you to get lost in my mouth forever,” speaks a female voice, presumably Nikolas’s, during “Do You Want What I Need” as other mumbles and laughter swirl around it in a psychedelic dub haze.
Small and detailed — like a Ingmar Bergman film minus the existential despair — Jetlag returns to the almost exclusively synth-based glitch-pop of Milosh’s pre-Rhye solo work: There are no big beats or anthemic choruses, only tiny crackles and tender caresses. The difference, though, is that his work in Rhye has taught him how to maximize the impact of his nearly castrato-like tenor, and his marriage to Nikolas gave him something to sing about. Light on the acoustic jazz and chamber music elements that made Woman such a singular hybrid, its sequel showcases Milosh’s sweet and sighing pillow talk with less hummable but even more confidential results.