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Call by Night

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Album Review

Along with being the Fresh and Onlys guitarist, Wymond Miles has steadily built a catalog of interesting, challenging solo albums. 2016's Call by Night is certainly his most challenging record to date. Trading in both the swirling neo-psych and the swooning new wave of his previous two efforts, Miles here aims for something a bit more dramatic and singer/songwritery. More Nick Cave than Ian McCullough, in other words. After subtracting most of the electric guitars and synthesizers, he adds gospel-choir-backing vocals, dusty acoustic guitars, and stately pianos, all richly arranged to bolster Miles' passionately warped lead vocals. When it works, like on the sweeping "Solomon's Song" or the after-midnight country rock ballad "Rear View Mirror," the change in sonic philosophy really makes an impression. The darkness of Miles' words is made bolder by the cinematic sounds surrounding them, and the songs sink in deeply and completely.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

In 2008, while San Francisco's the Fresh & Onlys were busy readying Grey-Eyed Girls and Play It Strange, the garage-psych group's guitarist, Wymond Miles, was writing songs on the side using his eight-track Tascam home recorder. Inspired by artists like Scott Walker, Echo & the Bunnymen, and Robert Wyatt, though Miles' material is performed and recorded on his own, his output tends to be sonically dense and somber, sculpted out of guitars, drums, bass, synth, and dreamy vocals, clouded in the echoes...
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Call by Night, Wymond Miles
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