Rhye Toasts New York at Webster Hall

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Until this past weekend, the L.A.-based songwriting duo of Canadian singer Milosh and Danish musician Robin Hannibal, known together as Rhye were purposefully shrouded in mystery for most people, including me. Apparently, that’s a great way to get attention. Their show at Webster Hall was sold out, and it seemed like everyone at the concert had made the effort to find out who was behind this camera and publicity shy group. For anyone there, the veil had risen. Shrieks of recognition greeted each song. Mystery works in familiar and un-mysterious ways!

As an American traveling in Europe there are things that you notice are different than what you encounter here every day. I’ve always felt there were a few musical styles I would commonly hear drifting out of bars and cafés that are uniquely Euro. The style of Rhye’s music is difficult to pin down, but I would describe it as this melodic, soft, jazzy R&B groove that you find yourself absentmindedly swaying to. It can become a soundtrack for your travel memories.   They have been compared to Sade, but I didn’t really get that. They gave me a very real ‘Euro’ experience in Feel and in Vibe.

The weird fact that Rhye transported me to a café in Paris, and a bar in Rome, made it a very rewarding concert. Everyone there was certainly into it. Hannibal wasn’t there, however. He won’t tour with this group, or his other band, Quadron. Milosh was there, and man, is he a great singer.

Part of the mystery, to me and everyone else, has been whether Milosh was a woman or not. He is, in fact, a man, singing in a beautiful high tenor, who writes deeply romantic songs. He and Hannibal moved to L.A. to be with and marry women. The group Rhye is a real, tight unit, and they have a unique configuration, with an electric violin, a celloist who plays trombone, a synthesizer / B3 Hammond organ player subbing for Hannibal, an extremely tight bass and drum unit, and it’s all topped by Milosh as a standalone singer, doubling on percussion and keys.

It must be said, this is music to have sex to, people! When you want a soundtrack for your next seduction, your Rhye may be buttered with love.