Following their successful debut record Down Time, Melbourne’s Totally Mild are gearing up for round two. 2015 saw a bold breakthrough for the band. Down Time was awarded with Albums of the Week and high rotation on domestic radio, three nominations at the Age Music Victoria Awards (including Best Album), a European tour with labelmates Terrible Truths, and lauded sets at industry conference BIGSOUND and the Meredith Music Festival.

Down Time attracted attention overseas with Pitchfork calling single ‘Move On’ “a shining talisman for the heartbroken” and BrooklynVegan praising singer Liz Mitchell’s voice and “her lovely songs and the just-so jangly arrangements.”

Totally Mild began with singer/guitarist Liz Mitchell and guitarist Zach Schneider, high school friends who met in choir and played together through several bands of varying teenage quality. Going to shows around Melbourne, they found the two people who would become Totally Mild’s other half: Lehmann B Smith, playing with local heroes Kes Band, who encouraged Mitchell to release some of the songs she’d been writing since she was 10 – he would later join on bass – and Ashley Bundang, playing with Hot Palms, who partied the night away with Mitchell and became instant friends – the night which served as the inspiration for Down Time’s ‘The Next Day’. Mitchell was going through a period of extremes, counterbalancing depression with hedonism, and began writing songs inspired by the coexisting feelings of romance and self-destruction. Schneider strung Mitchell’s guitar like a ukulele, and with a chorus pedal, Mitchell began forming Totally Mild’s now distinctive sound.


Introducing Castorp, aka Welsh-blooded, South-London based Steffan Davies – a new artist with emotional wisdom far beyond his years, channeling beautifully wistful songwriting for daydreamers lost in love, in life, in work. Davies’ songs are brimming cauldrons of haunting melody, fusing the world-weariness of the classic balladeer with his commitment to finding greener pastures. Already likened to the affecting directness of Scott Walker and the shimmering strut of Mac DeMarco, his songs are melancholic treasures to carry in your pocket as a tonic to the world’s cruel stings.

Castorp’s portraits of daydreaming and longing glow with hopeful heart, conjuring up warm escapist fantasies, while soaring falsettos, lush synthesisers and twinkling guitar lines sway together above the distinctive tight grooves and the heartfelt honesty of Davies’ delivery. For those gazing out of their bedroom window transfixed by possibility - these songs offer a slender hand to join Davies’ expedition for a kaleidoscopic alternative.

Listen here -


Based in North London, Life Models tend to reside at the intersection of precision and disorder. Nothing excites them more than the slapdash concision of Guided By Voices. Fuse that blueprint with a clinical Nick Cave obsession and years of hopping between the musical melting pots of Melbourne and London, and what do you get? Well nothing revolutionary, but something shouty and rough, melodic and exact. Led by four voices and eyes glued to the sticky dance floor, sometimes it’ll sound familiar, sometimes hack like a tired frog.

Popular Culture: Totally Mild / Castorp / Life Models

23 Mar 2018

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