18 Jan 2019

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Miller Yule - EP Review: Miller Yule Live

17 Dec 2018 // A review by butch181

Miller Yule Live is a good length EP, consisting of seven tracks with a total runtime of over 30 minutes. Performing a setlist that is mostly sourced from his 2016 EP Shoot Me In The Heart (reviewed here), Miller Yule has also added in his single Diamonds (released in November 2017 and reviewed here), a stripped down adaptation of Six60's Don't Give It Up, and a new track to spice it up further. 

Proper instrumental introductions to musical pieces are something that is rarely done these days. In a world so obsessed with getting to the hook as quickly as possible, it's easy to forget the joys that are taken in the musical journey on the way. Opening the live EP with Shoot Me In The Heart, the track takes over a minute and a half to work its way into the vocals, with some nice country tones to the electric guitar, and nice clean piano tones on the keyboard. A bouncy honky-tonk number, Shoot Me In The Heart has great organic rhythm that gets the body moving to an almost Jimmy Barnes-esque vocal grain. 

With a strong start, Miller Yule goes straight into his new track Just Like You. You can't help but wonder why they didn't pause for longer between tracks, with the closing notes of Shoot Me In The Heart coming through at the start of Just Like You, which does reduce the overall power of the drums that start off the track. While it works well to transition from one song to the next quickly when performing live, when recording, differentiation is key. After the opening cymbal clashes and electric guitar riffs which fool you into thinking you've jumped into a rock concert, everything pulls back for the verses for a slower, feel-good track.

The EP carries on with more tracks from the 2016 EP, bringing Little Things, See You 'Round, and A Full Moon Melody to the stage. Generally, with simple chord structures, it is the smooth grain to Miller Yule's voice (with just a hint of huskiness), and the rhythm with which he plays, that makes them so pleasant to listen to. Each track has a little bit extra to give it a bit of a kick, whether it comes in the form of a harmonica solo, letting the drums kick in to add some pace partway through the track, or some exceptional fast finger picking on the guitars, there is enough variety to keep the interest of the listener.

In the middle of that pack of three tracks is the Six60 cover. Quite an interesting choice, and perhaps chosen due to the unequivocal rise to popularity of the New Zealand group, but Miller Yule puts his own spin on the track, performing solo, with just a guitar and a microphone. What really piques my interest is how stripped back it is. Apart from what could only be described as a false build, the adaptation has lost a lot of what made Don't Give It Up such a catchy, hook of a song. Certainly not a bad display, but such a stark contrast to the mood of the original.

The final track on the release comes in the form of Diamonds. Another interesting choice in composition, using back-up vocals in the same key and octave during the choruses. The overall sound is a bit hit and miss, adding volume but also being very noticeable when the timing is not 100% in sync; harmonising in a different key would allow much better flexibility with timing. Definitely the more poppier of tracks on the EP, it still manages to carry a lot of energy, and ends the performance on a strong point.  

Good length with a variety of sounds and energies, the Miller Yule Live EP provides a great selection of tracks that is representative of his style and musical direction.

Rating: ( 4 / 5 )

About Miller Yule

In 2016, solo artist Miller Yule broke into the NZ music scene with his acclaimed debut EP Shoot Me in the Heart.

The EP hit #4 on the NZ Albums Chart and gained further momentum with the release of music videos for singles Shoot Me in the Heart and Little Things.

Bolstered by the success of his honest songwriting and heartfelt live performances, Miller capped off 2016 supporting Ben Harper on his NZ tour.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Miller Yule


Miller Yule Live
Year: 2018
Type: Album
Shoot Me In The Heart
Year: 2016
Type: EP

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