Misty Miller – Girlfriend EP Review
Plying a brand of unflinchingly stripped-back and straight-up Americana, Misty Miller’s first EP on UK label Relentless offers a 20-odd minute set of tunes for the traditionalist. The EP keeps things simple both in terms of composition and instrumentation: Miller’s schtick draws on classic rock, blues, garage and country, taking the fundamental ideas and delivering them in low-concept singer songwriter style.
Opener ‘Girlfriend’ opens with a garage riff very reminiscent of The Sonics’ ‘The Witch’, Miller’s vaguely Carl Barat vocals bemoaning the woes of a “working girl” like herself. Setting a fairly high-energy precedent, it’s followed by ‘Do You Know What I Mean’ and its loud/quiet structuring of barrelling drums and surf-country guitar.
Taking a turn for the sombre with ‘The Devil’, Miller muses on vaguely biblical themes to the backing of a bare-bones country rock-ballad. It might be hard for some to buy into a tale of world-weariness delivered by an eighteen year old, but even a cursory listen to Miller’s EP ought to make it clear to the listener: whatever enjoyment is to be derived from this recording, it’s unlikely to derive from paying too close an attention to its lyrical content.
‘Little Drummer Boy’ – while demonstrating most clearly the tendency seen across the EP for guitar work to fall on the sloppy side of basic – has a plodding insistency that lends the tune character. Paired with ‘Lonesome Cowboy’ to form the EP’s closing pair, the pace quickens after the mid-track lull without returning to the energy of the opening, which gives the track progression a logical feel to its flow.
The Girlfriend EP is an extremely simple affair, which will be what draws some listeners in: a fairly unassuming take on classic rock’n’roll sounds – framed around Miller’s easily digested musical persona – will be just what some music fans are looking for. The lack of complexity will for some, however, translate into a lack of character.
Girlfriend is out February 25.