Reviewed by Reece Kovacs

Haz & Miloux: Brunette EP

Reviewed by Reece Kovacs

Haz & Miloux: Brunette EP

The powerful Tāmaki Makaurau duo Harry Huavi, aka Haz Beats, and Rebecca Melrose aka Miloux, released the six-song EP ‘Brunette’ in July 2023.

The pair previously won the Best Soul/RnB Artist award at the Aotearoa Music Awards, in 2020 on the strength of its predecessor ‘Blonde’, and three years on have delivered an EP/album that stands up to that high measure. The unlikely combination of a jazz school graduate and a hip hop icon has produced blends that are subtle, complex drum patterns with epic harmonies and crisp syncopation. 

Opening track Tiger Would sets the tone for the release, starting with a simple drum beat that exudes swagger and swing, reminiscent of J Dilla, complemented by Miloux’ soft and soulful vocals. The chorus introduces a massive multi-tiered vocal harmony, establishing the EP’s pace. This track establishes the theme for many songs on the album, epic harmonies, evocative lyrics, and smooth drums taking centre stage.

Haz Beats, a legend in the hip hop community through his work in Homebrew and Team Dynamite, brings plenty of skill and experience to the production. Experience is evidenced in his understanding the importance of space, allowing the drums and synths to complement the singer instead of overpowering, resulting in easy listening tracks that take a back seat when they need to and stand out when they want to.

While most feature a classic hip hop beat, the variation and swing give each track a unique signature, lending the entire release a sense of sophistication. It’s worth noting that the Diggy Dupé feature provides a refreshing change of pace with his rap on What U Do.

Miloux’ clean and crisp voice shines through each chorus of the album. She possesses the uncanny ability to sound passionate yet effortless, hitting high notes especially with ease. The lyrics convey a wide range of themes, from sultry adventures to male fragility. ‘Brunette’ delves into the complexities of modern relationships; complicated, tough, impulsive, and passionate. Not only do the lyrics emote these subjects, but Miloux’ melodies also do so with intricacy, layered harmonies, quick octave changes, and accented flats.

The 5-minute long mid-point track March 12 allows Miloux to showcase these skills, especially in the final verse. All these elements together paint a vivid picture of the highs, lows, fun and melancholy of modern love, wrapped up in a sultry jazzy aesthetic.

This album is perfect listening for a relaxing Sunday afternoon. It offers spine-tingling crescendos and showcases a refined and skilled sound. ‘Brunette’ is a delightful treat.

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