“A sonic spa of love, loss and inner peace”. These are the words used to describe Jarad Miles’ first upcoming full-length studio album ‘Standing Upon This Array’ — and from my first listen through the beautifully crafted body of work, I can attest to it being just that. Jarad Miles has a way of evoking complex emotions through the seemingly simplest of melodies. In fact, that is one of my favourite features of Standing Upon This Array. It encapsulates an ocean of emotion in the steady streams of melodies that flow through each track. Perhaps it’s the way the whole album came about. Just like every one of us, the recent lockdowns messed up Jarad’s best-laid plans and prevented him from recording an album with his band Jarad Miles & The Ancient Waves. I’m sure this album would have also been filled with bangers, but I, for one, am grateful that Jarad was forced to pursue his solo work and start work on this solo venture. With the help of pro producers and multi-instrumentalists Kai Anders and Josh Parlanti, Jarad elevated each lockdown lyric and bedroom demo until the slick sounds of Standing Upon This Array.
From the effervescent opening title track through to the funkier ‘Something Beautiful’ to the hauntingly beautiful ‘Whitman Prelude’, there’s a golden glow radiating out of the sonic atmosphere of the songs. I would suggest that this emanates from Jarad Miles’ vocals themselves. His tone sits contently in the indie-folk realms. There’s a lightheartedness that makes the depth of the lyrics all the more profound. The hauntingly beautiful ‘Whitman Prelude’ is a perfect example of this. The lyrics may make your heart heavy, yet Jarad’s tone delivers them with a bittersweet innocence that makes you want to absorb them all the more. The spirit of his voice is completely captivating. ‘Let’s Get Closer (We Could Die)’ is another complete standout. The subtle evolution of the layers of vocals is completely immersive and the interplay between the bass line and melodies is fascinating to witness. All of this makes the repetitive nature of the track anything but boring, but instead a symbiotic cycle you don’t want to fall out of. This theme seems to be prevalent in Standing Upon This Array; Jarad allows cycles of repetition to hold you in a moment in time that Jarad has managed to translate into music. Rife with introspection, this album is a testament to the power of going within, shining a light and admiring the honesty.
Listen to Jarad Miles on SPOTIFY | Standing Upon This Array Is Out on 7th June 2022
By Sasha Lauryn