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Wymond Miles - Earth Has Doors

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Artist: Wymond Miles

Album: Earth Has Doors

Label: Sacred Bones

Review date: Mar. 9, 2012

In recent years, the San Francisco-based group The Fresh & Onlys has emerged as a launching pad for talented musicians: Consider the excellent work released last year by Tim Cohen, or the disarming and surreal pop made by The Sandwitches, whose Heidi Alexander spent time in the group. Now, Fresh & Onlys guitarist Wymond Miles has released his first solo EP, Earth Has Doors. In contrast to his Cohen, whose Magic Trick project pushes toward blissed-out pop, Wymond Miles’s solo work is staunchly introverted with a dose of the mystical. It’s a densely constructed EP, and the more baroque and strange it gets, the more compelling it becomes.

“Temples of Magick” is the most overtly psychedelic of the four songs heard here. A droning organ melody runs through it, and Miles’s vocals seem processed to lose a bit of clarity, creating an overall mood of delirium. It’s a solid dose of hallucinatory rock music, but it’s also the least interesting of the four songs here; elsewhere, Miles draws together disparate elements towards a more fascinating, rewarding whole.

The sprawling instrumental “As the Orchard is With Rain” is built around an intricate guitar part, with brief alleviating visitations from a cello, ultimately leading to a similar destination to some of James Blackshaw’s recent work. When Miles weds his more exploratory tendencies to a core of pop songwriting -- as on the slow ebbing away of “Earth Has Doors, Let Them Open” or the slowly-emerging nocturnal pop of “Hidden Things Are Asking You To Find Them” -- it’s at once modestly scaled and reasonably cosmic.

By Tobias Carroll

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