A left-field debut album from the off-beat Landon Lloyd Miller.
If you load Landon Lloyd Miller’s debut album ‘Light Shines Through’ into Apple Music, under the title, the description of the music is “Rock/Indie/Experimental” and whilst there are definite rock and indie sounds, experimental is a bit odd unless it’s applied to Miller’s voice which could be described that way. It’s certainly a little weird, off-beat and eccentric. At times there’s a whiny quality to it but it also sounds a bit like Elvis (Presley not Costello) on ‘Bluebonnet’, a bit strangled on ‘Landslide’ and eerie and high-pitched on ‘Sunglasses’ – Miller’s voice changes like the Louisiana breeze (which is where Miller has his roots) and is definitely an acquired taste.
For a long time, Miller was the front man of the Shreveport based “space western” band, The Wall Chargers but has now gone solo. The mini album (nine songs coming in at just under twenty-five minutes) was recorded at Hermit House in Shreveport and produced by him and Josiah Rambin and whilst Miller’s voice may be seen as a little unusual, the line-up of musicians fits the americana/rock template with the ubiquitous guitars, drums, bass, mandolin, fiddle and banjo. Apart from something like ten musicians backing him, as well as singing and producing, Miller plays guitar, drums and piano. There are also excellent backing vocals from Chelsea Norman on three tracks, most noticeably on ‘Sunglasses’.
Miller’s melodies vary in style and his lyrics are as you might expect from someone who was in a “space western” band, are a little off the wall at times. There are lines such as ‘Who is the man behind the sunglasses? He’s stepping through the dark into the holiest of parts’ in ‘Sunglasses’, ‘But babe if you ain’t one of a kind, when the Catavalean creek made the waterwheel spin’ on the nursery rhyme-ish ‘Feel It Again’ and ‘I was a man in the middle of winter, you were a girl unaware that the dead could rise’ on ‘Tread Lightly’ – definitely not your run of the mill lyrics. As Miller himself said “I’ve always been nervous to say something was truly mine in case someone doesn’t like it”. In the case of ‘Light Shines Through’ that’s totally up to the listener to decide.