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Miles East - Between Lightning and Thunder (ECR Music Group)

18 June 2024

If Miles East has done one thing in the run-up to the release of this new album, Between Lightning And Thunder, it is to establish himself as a consummate songwriter. Singles such as “Lucky To Be Here Tonight” and “All Hands On Deck” not only did what all advanced singles should do, that is, generate a buzz for the album to follow, but marked Miles out to be an important, not to mention delicate and deft songwriter to watch.

Now, you would assume that all musicians should have the ability to write songs, especially those that fall into the singer-songwriter category; it is, after all, the job at hand, the stock in trade, the very point of their existence. Sadly, many believe they can hide their lack of abilities behind either a multitude of studio gimmickry or a charm offensive of marketing spin. All cheap style, no real substance. It is artists like Miles East that shine a light on the failings of these so-called competitors.

And although I mentioned two of the lead singles, this is one of those albums that could have sent almost any of the tracks out ahead of the release to beguile the potential listener. There are songs built out of understated spirals of acoustic charms, such as “It’s Our’s to Lose,” country-infused waltzes such as the brilliantly named “Circling the Drain,” the shuffling rhythms and optimistic “Song of Hope”, and the honest and intimate understatements of the title track. All of which could easily hold their own in the singles marketplace.

I hesitate to say that Between Lightning And Thunder sounds almost like a best of… album, but it does. And even if that is to be a bit hyperbolic about Miles’ music, this album does at least through the gauntlet down to those around him.

From now on, this is the standard by which I will judge all other so-called singer-songwriters. You have been warned.