If you’re not already acquainted with the work of Central Coast band The Million, it’s about time you came around. The four-piece have been releasing music since 2017 but their latest work is their best yet, re-introducing us to a band that’s always pushing the boundaries of pop music.
Last Call is the latest and it’s a punchy, immediate synth-pop tune that’s both nostalgic and fresh. It’s the sort of song that will circle your head from the first listen and a testament to the bands' ability to construct an impenetrable hook.
On the surface, it’s an easily digestible track but as always with The Million, there’s plenty of lyrical content to dig into. “Last Call is about the anxieties and worst-case scenarios that you come up with when you’re seeing somebody new and the introspection that comes with that,” says the band.
“Self-doubt is something we gravitate towards writing about, I feel like most people have their own version of the question “am I good enough for this” and I guess Last Call is about how it feels to be in that frame of mind.”
“If I'd had known that your face would fade / I would have never let you get away,” sings Collins, pairing lyrical melancholy with the upbeat instrumental. The cry-dance has always been one of pop’s finest tools, mastered by the likes of Robyn with Dancing On My Own, and it’s used spectacularly here too.
The band admits that it’s not always an easy juxtaposition to get right. “It’s usually a hard balance to achieve without tipping the scales,” they say.
“The reason we enjoy it is that the payoff just feels so much more rewarding when you are able to disguise a dancefloor banger with substance in the lyrical emotion.”
They’ve always had a knack for pairing sunny instrumentals with more introspective lyrics but Last Call is their most ambitious to date. Never before has a Million song been so up-tempo and expansive, sounding like The Weeknd’s penchant for neon-’80s production collided with the earnest energy of Troye Sivan’s latest work.
The expansiveness could also be owed in part to co-producer Dom Craik from the band Nothing But Thieves. He’s a surprising inclusion in the credits but one that adds another dimension to their music, injecting an arena-ready sensibility to the track. “Working with Dom was so exciting for us. We’ve been fans for a long time,” says the band.
If you’re not already enamoured by the song, the video is sure to give you a nudge. Directed by Ash Lim who has worked with the likes of CXLOE and Young Franco, it’s a tale of a love gone of an ex who has moved on. It also features an appearance from a whoopie cushion which may just be the star of the video.
And by the sounds of it, it’s never going to be leaving frontman Jacob Thomas’ body. “Before we shot the music video we filled it with superglue, Jacob actually can’t take it off,” the band joke.
If you’re after some more Jacob in the whoopie cushion, you can see it below.
Last Call marks a new chapter for the band. Not only is it a leap-forward sound-wise, it marks the addition of a new member - McKinley Payne. Payne was previously a touring member of the band but now he’s been given an official appointment to join as the band’s guitarist.
2021 may just be The Million’s year.
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