Photo By: Noah Nickel via Apple Music

Milky Chance released a surprise mixtape with two new songs and covers of trending songs such as Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love,” Bad Bunny’s “La Noche De Anoche,” Dua Lipa’s “Levitating,” and The Weeknd’s “Save Your Tears.”

Milky Chance is a German indie duo that grew to popularity with their song “Stolen Dance” back in 2014. Since then, they have only released two full albums, not including this new mixtape, and a handful of singles.

The album Trip Tape, which they are calling a mixtape, starts off with their recent successful single “Colorado,” and introduces two new songs, “Cold Summer Breeze” and “Love Again,” before moving on to the covers. The mixtape ends with demos of what seems to be future songs. These demos are a welcome return to their traditional style following the collection of pop covers, which certainly take them out of their comfort zone.

They also released a unique music video. More specifically, it’s a 38-minute music video that consists of the duo sitting in a car with bright and colourful backgrounds while all of the tracks play through on their “road trip.” The name of the album defines it perfectly, this is a trip tape.

The duo uses a mix of genres such as rock, reggae, and indie alternative which makes their covers of popular songs feel like new songs with a slower and more chill vibe than their original counterparts. Are the covers better than the originals? Definitely not, but it’s fun listening to different takes of the same song. Here is where the originals come from and how their covers measure up.

“Tainted Love” – Soft Cell 

A cover of a cover, “Tainted Love”, originally released by Gloria Jones in the mid-60s, is better known for Soft Cell’s 1981 cover which matched Milky Chance’s cover the most. It introduces a more electronic feel and 80s pop rhythm. While Soft Cell’s cover is catchy, Milky Chance’s slower beat goes well with the lyrics.

“La Noche de Anoche” – Bad Bunny and ROSALÍA

I was excited when I saw this title on the album, but of course, Milky Chance only focused on the chorus and the rhythm of the original. Making a cover of a Spanish song where ROSALÍA gives one of her best performances is hard to match. Regardless, Milky Chance succeeds in providing an ambient song with an electronic feel and beats that do the original justice.

“Levitating” – Dua Lipa

Anyone who has been on TikTok at all needs no introduction to this song. Milky Chance’s cover doesn’t match its catchy rhythm, but this is a good thing. Instead, they make it their own style and make it feel like a new song — they slow down the pace considerably and it works well.

“Save Your Tears” – The Weeknd

If I didn’t know this was a cover to The Weeknd’s song, I would have believed this was a Milky Chance original. The lyrics go so well with their folk and acoustic style that makes this the best cover on the mixtape.

Overall, it makes sense why they call it a mixtape and not an album. This feels like a fun side project more than a fully polished album that listeners have come to expect from the duo. Considering their infrequent releases, this was a welcomed surprise and certainly is an enjoyable listen.