True psychedelic music doesn’t owe anything to the commercial market, but instead the identity of an aesthetic that has been evolving for the better part of the last six decades. Where some are kindling something fresh with uncertain, noisy melodies in this genre right now, others are looking back to the classics for inspiration, finding in them a sense of realism that has been evading rock music in the mainstream for years now – hence, Mitch & Millie’s take on “White Rabbit.” I’ve always said this is a difficult song to cover, but this duo makes it look and sound rather easy when they do it.
The guitars in this version of “White Rabbit” are a lot bigger and bolder than some might be expecting them to be, but this is only the start of where the sonic trench between the original and this incarnation is dug. Thanks to a crisp production style that really doesn’t allow for any of the texture in the music to escape the mix, Mitch & Millie sound very present and even in-your-face with their physicality on the instrumental front, which provides the lyrics with a much more defined backdrop than I ever would have anticipated finding here.
As far as the decadence in this track is concerned, it’s perhaps the most retro element to behold in the whole of the song. There are a lot of excesses where we don’t need them, and yet there’s a decidedly more involved sensibility in “White Rabbit” because it exists here. There’s nothing wrong with a barebones arrangement when you’re able to get away with it, but this is a duo that doesn’t have to exploit minimalism to come across as concise with the message they’re looking to send in this single – in fact, I think quite the opposite is true.
This mix puts all of the melodic elements on the top of the track as opposed to spreading them out in the style that a lot of artists would have done in their cover of “White Rabbit,” and as different an approach as this happens to be, it doesn’t seem too rebellious for what Mitch & Millie want to accomplish here. They want to overwhelm with one half of this song while celebrating the simplicity of the structure with the other, which despite being a rather difficult combination to rectify winds up giving them the most personality they can have in such an iconic song.
The lead vocal might be woven into the bottom of this single, but don’t think for a minute that Millie’s presence is understated beside all of the fretwork in “White Rabbit.” Together with Mitch, she’s presenting a sense of ominousness akin to what Grace Slick produced so many years ago in the original version of this song, and while I had not listened to this pair before finding out about this all-new release, I’ve got a strong gut feeling they’re going to sound even better with original material than they do here – which is definitely not a small statement to make.
Donate to IndiePulse Music Magazine’s Academic and Music Education Scholarship Program HeartBeat4Kids
IndiePulse Music Magazine creates Scholarships to help Youth In Need of assistance to complete their educational goals and stay in school.