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Dark Miles - Your Heart Is An Empty Street/When The Lights Go Out (Dark Miles Records)

22 March 2024

There is something wonderfully gothic lying at the heart of “Your Heart is an Empty Street.” Well, maybe not gothic, but certainly brooding, shaded, and full of pathos. Ironically, it is far removed from all those goth band theatrics of yore, yet it captures a real sense of darkness and a slightly menacing undercurrent in a way that those bands rarely got close to, either through falling laughably short or over-earnestly, over-pitching.

It is telling that Pete Miles, the man behind the moniker Dark Miles, comes from a heavier musical realm but, like many, began exploring other musical areas during the confines of lockdown. I guess that he understands how you work with big dynamics and how you blend numerous tones and textures, which accounts for the astute nature with which he balances these, more poised yet no less potent sounds together. The result is music that merges the singer-songwriter vibe with a more band-driven sound, anthemic builds, and resonates with a dark design at its heart.

“When The Lights Go Out” swaps out some of that darkness for more anthemic qualities, replaces some of the weight for deftness, and muscle for melody. It’s a great song that moves with an understated rock presence without being held down by the musical baggage and cliche that typically accompanies music made in this area. In fact, if you want a handy reference point, I’d say that “When The Lights Go Out” feels like a long lost Pearl Jam epic ballad. And as praise goes, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Dark Miles makes music with all the quality of the rock realm yet does so using more understated brushstrokes.