Mihali Savoulidis went out on his own releasing the single “Empty Overflow.” You may be familiar with Mihali from the rock quartet, Twiddle. It’s simple; Mihali’s musical talent is special.
Reggae is the dominant style of “Empty Overflow.” However, I also heard blues, pop, and rap undertones. Mihali shared being inspired by Kurt Cobain, Bradley Nowell and like every reggae artist Bob Marley. To me, his guitar solo is extremely Carlos Santana-ish. The control is effortless, smooth but still electrifying. The chorus has a simple strumming riff but he diverts and magically the song takes a different path. His vocals reminded me of Jason Mraz in “I’m Yours” and even “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy, featuring Bruno Mars. There is also a lot of similarity in sound with Matisyahu. The tune in his music video is a little over seven minutes but don’t let that deter you. You want it to go on for 70 minutes. Luckily, Mihali has an entire, new album, “Breathe and Let Go,” to accompany the “Empty Overflow” single.
“Breath and Let Go” has a total of eleven songs with impressive, feature artists including Citizen Cope, G. Love, Special Sauce, Nahko, Trevor Hall and Matisyahu. (Told you he sounds like him.) All the guest artists truly complement Mihali. Every song on the LP is well crafted but I really like “Hypocrite” as it contains a similar guitar style as performed in “Empty Overflow.”
Mihali’s record embodies the traditions of reggae. What I love about the genre is that it carries broader messaging, impacting more than just entertainment. Reggae is a medium for expressing social, economic and political ideals. It is significant in counterculture movements. Of course, and thankfully, it has also influenced other types of music such as rap, hip hop, dancehall, and reggaeton. Mihali brings those strong, important, reggae messages while still adhering and composing the music into positive vibes. In every chord and inflection, I feel his passion.
Listening to Mihali’s entire album but particularly “Empty Overflow” I was transported to the Popoyo coast of Nicaragua where I was surfing in 2015. The boutique hotel/hostel hosted a dance party with local artists. The music featured was primarily reggae and reggaeton. Yes, I was on holiday and chill. However, immediately, whenever and wherever I listen to reggae, I feel relaxed and upbeat. I’m whisked away with the sound of the guttural, raw but sweet voices, the methodical storytelling, the wailing guitar and tribal, rhythmic beats. Mihali, thank you for giving me those holiday sensations while I wrote in my dining room on a cold and drizzling evening in March.