Jared Miles New Album 'Standing Upon This Array' Out June 7, 2022
Jared Miles began his musical journey in a unique manner. He learned music by mastering his mother’s guitar with a John Denver songbook. One has to wonder if Miles was even familiar with any of these Denver songs, as the rocky mountain high country/folk/pop singer was well before his time. His mom later bought Miles a Telecaster look-alike guitar kit and amp (from Walmart, of course) and he then taught himself how to play. He then learned how to master what he was hearing on the radio, ranging from the new (Beck, Radiohead), to the old (Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan).
Miles’ album, Standing Upon This Array, is his first album in nine years, as Ancient Wave was released in 2013. The album’s songs were written and recorded during the pandemic and are said to concern “a panoramic view of a turbulent 12-year relationship.” He sounds a little hopeless during “Wasted Interlude,” where he complains about wasting time and wondering if a dream comes true. He sings it over a gentle, piano-driven balled rhythm. It, indeed, sounds dreamy.
One wonders if “Rain Your Love” is more of a spiritual request, rather than a romantic one. Especially considering the album’s original aim. Perhaps, it’s a love song to nature, with rain falling down like a kind of heavenly blessing. The song has a sparse percussion part and layered vocals. There are also gentle, sitar-like guitar sections on it.
One titled “Let’s Get Closer (We Could Die)” starts out sung in a kind of round. Sort of the way we sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” as kids. It’s backed by flute-like instrumentation. It’s a strange little song, as it’s encouragement to get closer is followed by the parenthetical thought, “We Could Die.” If death is at the door, so to speak, why does Miles sound so happy and contented singing it? It’s a strange selection,
“Whitman Prelude” is a quiet folk-ish song, sung over fingerpicked acoustic guitar. Miles sings it – once again – relatively happily. If this is a post turbulent relationship album, it’s sometimes difficult to pick up on Miles’, uh, turbulence. Perhaps it’s the sound of a man who is simply relieved to be out of a relationship. This one is followed by the similarly titled “Whitman-Rainbow.” This next entry is a little bit louder and features Miles vocal multi-tracked.
The album closes with “Peace Come In,” and reveals how Miles saved he best for last. Folky acoustic guitars are once again the backing for this song. It’s a lovely lyrical wish for calm. Miles also sounds like his heart is ready for a little peace. He already sounds peaceful while requesting this peace. The song also includes some truly lovely stringed parts (or is this a keyboard approximating guitar?). It is a full 4:19 of musical bliss. It’s also the perfect way to close out an album. We all desire calm days and nights. This song is a little like a musical meditation. One can almost picture Miles sitting cross-legged, singing it around a campfire.
If, indeed, this is a post-breakup album, Jared Miles sounds like he’s weathered that storm pretty darn well.
Watch the 'Standing Upon This Array' music video here: