Have you ever been to an Open Mic night in a pub and a singer tentatively steps onto the stage, fumbles around with her guitar lead, adjusts the microphone stand, takes a seat and then announces to the audience “this song is about a break up…”?
I’ve seen this more times than I can remember, and it is always immediately followed by an audible mumble from the audience and a little bit of optimism drips out of my heart while I settle down to hear a song that is going to be torture for three or four minutes.
Well the new album by Lynn Miles is an album of these songs BUT I hasten to add – before you turn away and head to the bar – there is a lot more positivity contained in these ten songs than I expected.
Sure, these are songs – as Miles puts it “… they’re hurtin’ songs about two people who can’t make things work” – are a result of a certain point in a relationship, but often emotional songs are the best ones.
With this being her 16th album, this is a songwriter that knows her way around music and is adept at pulling at the heartstrings when needed. These songs are relatable, easy to listen to and feel like a pair of comfortable slippers. You feel safe here, warm and supported.
Is this music my cup of tea? On initial listen, no, but give it time and it grows on you. I’m by no means the leading voice in folk music but there is something arresting about the way Miles sings, she draws you out and then pulls you into a world of melancholy and optimism.