‘More Songs’ Myles Manly - sullen starkness and shadowy, ephemeral strangeness(February 09, 2015)
This is one of those pieces of work that either will or won’t reach the listener - there’s nothing ‘in-between’. Understanding and appreciation could come from those who find themselves fascinated by its sullen starkness and shadowy, ephemeral strangeness, alternatively, I suspect some will find it hard to find a point of contact within its morose, despondent introspection. Several times I listened to ‘More Songs’ from Myles Manley, and despite wanting to connect, I found it hard to engage with some of its meandering waywardness, recall its hard-to-assimilate tunes and broadly depressive vocals.
Opening with the upbeat ‘Pay Me What I’m Worth’ with its dusky folk-pop feel there’s an edge that hooks, however what follows definitely comes from a more far left-field position. Manley imbues songs like ‘January’ and ‘Slip Into The Sea’ with a level of obscure detachment and cheerless isolation, while the cacophony of distortion that accompanies ‘Ordinary Love’ makes it difficult to find the place where artist and listener meet, musically or lyrically. The gloom persists with the ‘I Love Her Family’ as it invokes a sense of miserable people, sitting in dark, brooding rooms locked into introverted self-examination. Depending on individual moods, some may find themselves identifying a point of immediate contact, then again perhaps not.
‘Different’ is essential, however that doesn’t mean incomprehensible. Whatever target audience is imagined for this reclusive music, I’m struggling to imagine a huge following. However, those that 'get it' will doubtless be captivated.
You can find Myles Manley here: mylesmanley.bandcamp.com
Reviewer: Charlie Elland