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Gig & Concert News - Wellington’s Miles Calder announces NZ tour for debut solo album 'Autopilot Life'

Wellington’s Miles Calder announces NZ tour for debut solo album 'Autopilot Life'

05 March 2021 - 0 Comments

Wellington singer-songwriter Miles Calder will embark on a nationwide tour this April and May in celebration of his debut solo album Autopilot Life, out today. The ten shows will see Miles and his band perform in intimate venues across Aotearoa, captivating audiences with a dynamic set ranging from floating atmospheric ballads to chomping rock n roll.

Four years on since his folk/Americana self-titled release with former backing band The Rumours and time living overseas, Miles has emerged with a renewed sound, fresh songs, and new band. His new album Autopilot Life takes influence from late 60's and 70s psychedelic era, evoking early Lennon and late-era Beatles as much as the alt-rock of contemporaries like Kevin Morby and Father John Misty.

On the surface, it's subject matter relates to the ending of a long-term relationship. But Miles admits, what could’ve been just a ‘breakup album’ turned into something more universal: “I realised that I was in a relationship, job, and daily routine that I didn’t want to be in, because I never stuck my head up to check. I could have just read the lyrics of these songs I was writing.”

Accompanying the release of Autopilot Life is a live music video of the title track, performed at Radio New Zealand’s Auckland studio’s last December. The single is the anchor point for the album’s contemplative theme, explains Miles: “Most of the songs on Autopilot Life relate to living an unexamined life. The overall float-like feel of this song is like the ignorance-is-bliss waking dream state with the vocals crying out from under it.”

WATCH: Miles Calder - Autopilot Life Live at RNZ

The striking collection of songs were brought to life with the help of long-time collaborators Nick George (drums) and Steve Moodie (bass), along with electrifying recruits Chris Armour (electric guitar) and Dayle Jellyman (synths, electric piano) who all form the new band. During their self-recording process, the band explored an exciting new psych-tinged palette to complement Miles' superb vocals consisting of cascading synths, atmospheric noise, and searing guitar solos. The album was then mixed by Tui-award winning engineer/producer “Doctor” Lee Prebble (The Phoenix Foundation, Jed Parsons) at Wellington's Surgery Studios.

The upcoming Autopilot Life Release Tour will deliver rich live versions of almost all of the album’s ten tracks including pre-released singles, Take Me Back to How it Was (about “feeling uncertain for the future and wanting to go back to a previous home”), the melancholic Lake Geneva and anxiety-riddled, guitar jam Bad for Me. And a sneak preview of newer unreleased songs - “a great chance to road test them before recording straight after the tour,” hints Miles.

Merch including Autopilot Life vinyl, pressed by Holiday Records, CD’s, and Miles’ “nerdiest of merch”, the Take Me Back to How It Was Notebook and Pencil Set, will be available for audiences to get their hands on. Look out for t-shirts designed by Mermainden's Lily West too. For tour tickets, head to Banishedmusic.com.

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