Sam Miller – Moving (Spotify)

“Like You moving gracefully and calmly on thin ice. A Glare of the sun reflected from the snow. Yet you feel like hovering as a butterfly. The blue of frost flies from your wings, and you keep flying...”

“Грациозно и спокойно вы двигаетесь по тонкому льду. Мерцают блики солнца отражаясь от снега. И вот мы уже пархаете как бабочка. Синева инея разлетаются от ваших крыльев. Двигайтесь несмотря ни на что!”

Sam Miller is a man of unique talents. A rare musical soul who thrives in our modern day of synthesizers and microchips, but who would be equally content playing Bach fugues in a cathedral filled with orangutans. His musical output is driven by curiosity and exploration, noticeably lacking the self-aggrandizing spirit of so much pop music.

From the mysterious deserts of New Mexico, Miller is at once a songwriter, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He is a master storyteller, who walks a tightrope pitched between the beauty of life’s complexities and the abyss of the subconscious. His lyrics grow more dynamic and intriguing with each listen. An elegant love song is simultaneously a riddle that would tickle the ghost of Lewis Carroll.

One of the most impressive measures of Miller’s writing is how the melodic content of the songs carry the weight of his lyrics. His attention to detail in arrangement and production creates fully realized songs that arrive at a clear destination. There is a confidence and thoughtfulness that is applied to each composition. Clever melodic hooks manage to echo in your head for days, allowing the depth of the lyrics to slowly unfurl in your thoughts. Miller’s deep and resonant voice evokes Scott Walker, Nick Cave, and even Johnny Cash. At its climax In One Place at a Time is soaring chamber pop akin to Devotchka, at its most introspective it is indie pop held together by synths and drum machines. With a close listen, there are hints of americana, traditional country, psychedelia, and even exotica.

Reviewed by Nagamag on November 9, 2020