I met Miles at Flour & Flagon’s Open Mic, and I was impressed by his presentation and songwriting. Here I take a look at his new album:
Listeners are initially greeted with a plodding fingerpicked acoustic guitar, before the sibilant voice of Knoop invites you to ‘brush your shining hair from out your face’, in an melodic and intimately stripped number.
He picks up the pace with the reminiscent ‘My Brothers Shirt’, one that I related to quite well. The fingerpicking is very well executed in its rhythmic control throughout the album. Vocally the melodies are conjunct, but the range is rather small, as he sings in a monotonous, almost Dylan-style manner. While this can place a focus on the lyrics, it is easy to tune out.
In terms of production, I was longing for a bassline or some additional elements to help the songs sound different from each other, as the dry guitar and vocals were quite repetitive, albeit warm.
River Madness is a solemn and moody collection of emotions Knoop is getting off his chest. The acoustic arrangement, while bare, is intimate and connotes to an dimly-lit quiet open mic night; the audience attentive as he shares his stories. 6/10
You can listen to River Madness here: