6 Songs, 27 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Your Friend is the work of Taryn Blake Miller, who sings with a voice that's a placid but passionate siren call. Each of Jekyll/Hyde’s six songs builds slowly with a solemnity that’s heart-wrenchingly beautiful. The beginning austerity of “Bangs” recalls the artsy poses of Cat Power, with its neutral vocal and My Morning Jacket–like reverb. However, by the song’s end, the sincerity and ambition speak closer to the artistry of Sharon Van Etten. “Pallet” introduces acoustic guitar to the mix and combines with a static keyboard to create a perfect sonic bed for Miller’s heavily reverberated vocals. “Tame One” introduces a drummer to the mix, giving the song a muscular tension without disturbing the spell that Miller clearly casts. Though she's well-integrated in her adopted hometown of Lawrence, Kan., and works well with other musicians on these tracks, Miller is such an overwhelming presence that little is actually needed besides her voice and a few skeletal droning instruments, as the title track and “Expectation/Reality” make clear.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Your Friend is the work of Taryn Blake Miller, who sings with a voice that's a placid but passionate siren call. Each of Jekyll/Hyde’s six songs builds slowly with a solemnity that’s heart-wrenchingly beautiful. The beginning austerity of “Bangs” recalls the artsy poses of Cat Power, with its neutral vocal and My Morning Jacket–like reverb. However, by the song’s end, the sincerity and ambition speak closer to the artistry of Sharon Van Etten. “Pallet” introduces acoustic guitar to the mix and combines with a static keyboard to create a perfect sonic bed for Miller’s heavily reverberated vocals. “Tame One” introduces a drummer to the mix, giving the song a muscular tension without disturbing the spell that Miller clearly casts. Though she's well-integrated in her adopted hometown of Lawrence, Kan., and works well with other musicians on these tracks, Miller is such an overwhelming presence that little is actually needed besides her voice and a few skeletal droning instruments, as the title track and “Expectation/Reality” make clear.

TITLE TIME
3:49
4:23
4:43
4:54
3:39
6:20

About Your Friend

The alias of Lawrence, Kansas-based singer/songwriter Taryn Blake Miller, Your Friend began as a one-woman show, with Miller working out her enigmatic songs in a live setting via her atmospheric guitar work and soaring voice. Through word of mouth and a flurry of high-energy house shows, Miller eventually moved on to bigger venues, often enlisting a rotating cast of local musicians to back her up, and eventually landing opening slots for national touring bands. A recording deal with Domino Records was struck, and Miller began working on her debut EP with co-producer Jordan Geiger (Hospital Ships), who helped Miller flesh out her dreamy indie rock anthems with layers of bass, drums, keyboards, and vocals. The resulting much buzzed-about Jekyll/Hyde was released in early 2014. After a major tour supporting the EP, Miller returned home to Kansas to write the material for her first full-length, which she recorded with producer Nicolas Vernhes (the War on Drugs, Deerhunter) in Brooklyn, New York. The highly textured LP Gumption arrived via Domino in January 2016. ~ James Christopher Monger

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