This weeks album of the week Scars from Myles Smith is likely going to be one of the most stunning debut albums you'll going to hear in 2020.
Listening to this album you'd be forgiven for thinking that it had been produced in studio befitting the likes of Jay Z or The Weeknd. The fact that this body of work is from a man who is just 22 years old is even more staggering!
From the first synths and vocals the torment of a love lost is so visceral, that it almost bowls you over. This album produced in lockdown with Myles sending tracks back and forth between him and collaborating producers shows that no matter what we're going through, if we're determined to create something and stick to our craft, then we can come up with something that is quite frankly spectacular.
The title track Scars will have a familiar vibe to anyone who's a fan of Post Malone's Hollywood is Bleeding. Whilst Myles isn't a fan of being pigeon holed I make this comparison not to put pressure on this incredibly talented song-writer, its to try and make you understand just how insanely talented this young man is.
Put it this way as soon as I heard the first eight bars of this album it was going to be my Album of the Week.
I could write a review of the whole album track by track but if you've been through the pain of a lost love you'd pinned your future on, you will get this in a heartbeat. Some albums are over as soon as they've begun, at six seconds under twenty three minutes this one is definitely going to leave you craving for more.
I had to reach out to Myles to learn more about this prodigious talent before I'd even gotten through my first listen, so without further ado.
Dreaminisfree How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t heard it before?
Myles: Haha, that's a hard one! It depends where you start. I've taken quite a journey with music, looking back to where I started out I was heavily influenced by rock, namely indie rock - so your Bombays, Saint Raymonds, Catfish etc... this was a strongly featured vibe in my early releases such as the Darker Days EP which we worked on with Sam Winfield who's produced artist such as Amber Run, Bring Me The Horizon, Fickle Friends and many more, cool insider knowledge Jimmi Naylor from the Pigeon Detectives was on drums for every track. But moving on to Myles Smith now, over the last few years I have immersed myself in the Trapsoul and RnB vibe and taken influence from so many Artist. I've almost ended up with a blend of RnB, Indie and Trap. Lyrically, I have been inspired by artists who are raw and open with their emotions, and actually think about what they write as opposed to sticking any old catchy bits together. So in my music, I try to be as open and honest as possible. So yeah, if I were to put it into a sentence... Trapsoul and Indie inspired emotional music... sounds a bit clumsy, but yeah haha.
Who are your influences?
I'd say this list can go on for years. Growing up with my mum I was exposed to a lot of Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Otis Redding. Luther Vandross and all those sorts of vibes, thinking about it, it's probably a big part about why I write about love so much today and so expressive in my writing. Moving into my teen years I was a hardcore Greenday fan, but also picked up on bands such as Blink 182, Linken Park, Hollywood Undead, Slipknot and many more - I'd say a strong punk/grunge influence. Then as I mentioned before I then moved into indie, following that trap soul and RnB. So I have influences from all parts of music. I'd say in terms of my writing and music now; Bryson Tiller, Labrinth, 6lack, XXXTENTACION, They. and Trippie Redd are all artist who have made a huge impact on where I am.
Scars feels like a really personal album, but one of moving on from pain. Is that a fair summary?
I think it's a very fair summary. Scars I wrote at one of my lowest points, not to go into too much detail, but it was a final frontier sort moment with this thing we call 'life'. But out of that beautiful mess came the project, it was almost what I needed to write and get out in order to grow. Although it sounds cliche, music is literally my voice, I really struggle to process my emotions and to open up to people. For the people my songs are about, they usually don't have a clue that's how I've felt until they've heard my music. I know its not the most healthy way of going through the motions, but it's something I feel comfortable with you know, and it works for me haha. But back to the point, Scars was definitely an attempt to capture my emotions in the moment, and I told myself that when I get through to the other side, it'll be a good reminder of the progress I've made and a good reminder of decisions and choices not to make again. But also, I feel in this generation we've become too numb, and too closed and often we portray anger and coldness when instead it's hurt and pain. I sort of want to set an example that it's okay to feel. It scary don't get me wrong, the whole putting my story on a plate for people to judge, but it genuinely hurts me seeing so many people repress a side of them which can unlock true happiness.
How was the recording process given we’ve been in lockdown?
It was unique, to say the least, but it was exciting and new. A lot of the tracks were back and forth project files with minor adjustments every time. I'd record parts at home, then send them, and the producers I worked with would send them back with changes and it kept going until we hit the sweet spot. It was only made possible by the incredible people I worked with; Ken Samson, Lynk Leo, COLDSUMMER, Jim Paterson, LiveWre, KultEviction and Kid Tommy.
When you’re not in the studio, singing or writing music what’s you other passions?
A big passion of mine is definitely politics,,, boring I know, but I think it's an important part of us as humans and how the world functions. You'll often catch me in a pub with friends having political debates and chatting rubbish for hours. But beyond politics, I'd definitely say building new memories and living life. Before the project, I would wake up, work and sleep and overthink EVERYTHING. But I'm trying to live more in the moment and experience life... tomorrow is never guaranteed you know and although its taken me 22 years to realise that, I can finally say I'm genuinely happy. But if that changes, I'm sure I'll be back with a Scars pt.2... (please if you're reading, don't break any hearts hahah)
After lockdown when we return to live music, will we see you on tour?
GET ME BACK ON STAGE. After this all ends I'll deffo be lining up a few shows. I just need people to show up so I'm not just performing to my mum haha. But jokes aside, I haven't played a proper gig since supporting Little Comets at Rock City Nottingham in 2018, so I really need to get back to the circuit ASAP. I've been too busy building a new sound I forgot people actually want to see me. But yes, I will be back soon so be sure to keep an eye on the socials!
Myles's is a generation who've grown up in a world of social media with its filtered bullshit portrayal of life being this endless joy. Not only is that unhealthy, its also unrealistic. The burying of negative emotions is often a catalyst of pain and suffering, with most men struggling to even voice what they're feeling.
The fact that Myles has taken his pain and created something as beautiful as Scars is not only a testament to him as a writer - it should also be held up as an example of how in dealing with our pain an we can come through the other side of it and create something that is not only unique - but actually rather beautiful.
Scars is available to stream now.
One word to sum this album up - stirring.
For fans of Post Malone, The Weeknd, Michael Kiwanuka, Cautious Clay, Love Fame Tragedy, Munkey Junkey.
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