May 25, 2021

When Miles first found out that I wrote reviews for Razorcake, he jokingly asked me to write a review for his record that came out in 2017. The “joke” was that at that point, save for seeing him play live a couple of times years ago, I had never really heard any of his music even though it was such an enormous part of his life and he was becoming such an enormous part of my life. When I told him I was listening to the record to finally write the review, he was embarrassed. He said “You broke the seal.” He felt exposed because in his words, “That guy is dead.” But now, in the most painful, unfathomably cruel twist, Miles, in his physical form, is also gone and I’m left to write this review because I promised him I would and what else am I supposed to do? Miles always said that when he wrote a song, he wanted the lyrics to have at least four different meanings. He was the embodiment of loquacious. That being said, this record is raw and simple and eloquent and sparse. Trying to really describe this record, though, is like waking up from the most pleasant dream and trying to articulate it out loud. Putting words to paper doesn’t do the nuances and subtleties justice. “Pacts with Beasts” sounds like the way it feels to walk on wet pine needles in bare feet, while other parts of the record are like cracked, dry earth where the gravel in your throat is palpable. “It Just Does” is the song you’d listen to while you were driving and the sky is the bluest blue and the clouds are the whitest and fluffiest you’ve ever seen and your heart is full and you’re fully in that moment. The record as a whole is atmospheric, existential, and at times ethereal, while also being carnal and heady. Ultimately, I think it explores what it really means and feels like to be alive on this planet, something that Miles thought about and spoke about and was grateful for every single day. I am grateful for the gifts that Miles gave us while he was here and although this review may have embarrassed him and certainly is just the tip of the iceberg, we’re so lucky that he left behind this record for us to visit whenever we need to hear his voice. –Emily T. (Ascension Hall)

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