Today, acclaimed R&B artist Milan Ring announces her highly anticipated debut album I’m Feeling Hopeful, out December 3 via Astral People Recordings / [PIAS]. Alongside the release comes her new single ‘Pick Me Up’, featuring a sultry and playful verse from Chicago artist Jean Deaux, who’s previously collaborated with the likes of Mick Jenkins, Kehlani, Saba and Isaiah Rashad. The new track follows previous singles ‘BS’ feat. Che Lingo and ‘Hide With You’, both of which garnered support from the likes of triple j and BBC Radio, and will feature on the album.
Speaking to themes of royalty and beauty (as represented by the mudra Allapadma which features on the single’s artwork), ‘Pick Me Up’ ponders ideas of vanity, sexuality and confidence in a blurry club setting. Accompanying the single is a stunning music video directed by Natasha Foster (Entropico), featuring an appearance from Jean Deaux shot in LA, and choreographed by Sela Vai.
Hope serves as a motivating force for Milan Ring - whether it's the promise of an alternate path, or a light at the end of the one she's travelling down. It's the declarative banner framing every beat, note and lyric on her debut album which was written, recorded, executive produced and mixed in its entirety by Milan in her studio, located in Marrickville on Gadigal Land in the Inner West of Sydney.
I’m Feeling Hopeful explores the themes of love (for others and for the self), relationships, control, freedom, the critical mind, depression, desires and addiction from many different perspectives, all born “from my observations of the world around me and the world within,” says Milan.
An accomplished musician, producer and engineer, Milan is a figurehead in Australia’s R&B renaissance, having collaborated with the likes of SZA, DRAM, Chance The Rapper's group The Social Experiment, BJ The Chicago Kid, The Avalanches, Ta-ku, B Wise, Sampa The Great and more.
Along with the album’s two international features, rising rapper and Malyangapa, Barkindji woman BARKAA features on ‘Let It Glide’, delivering two powerful and deeply impactful verses, complementing Milan’s raw and obscured approach to both the song’s production and her vocals. Western Sydney’s BLESSED also adds co-production and vocals to the woozy and tender ‘Sydney Hue’ which is both a nod to the city they call home, and their parallel experiences of disconnection, love and loss.
The percussive upbeat track ‘Hopeful’, which nears the end of the record, is a welcome release on the album’s pressure valve. After the loneliness of a song like ‘Dreaming’ – in which Milan reflects on what it was like to seek out freedom in all the wrong places – ‘Hopeful’ serves as proof that finding it is possible.
I’m Feeling Hopeful is due for release on December 3 via Astral People Recordings / [PIAS] and will be available digitally and on limited gatefold vinyl.
Earlier this year, Milan performed a mashup of SZA’s ‘Broken Clocks’ and ‘Love Galore’ as part of triple j’s Like A Version, and most recently teamed up with B Wise and Sampa The Great for the triple j-added single ‘Ezinna’.