Earlier this year, LA-based singer/songwriter B. Miles (Brenna Miles) landed on the music scene, with debut track Nine Matches. Now, she is back with follow up, Shaking Hands. It boasts the same soaring vocals and complex, layered production of the former, but this second single tells a darker and more sinister story. As the tale unravels, B. Miles transports you a mystical and fantastical world. Picture this… mist hovers in the air; a dim morning light peeks around the strong structures of trees and tall buildings; people are weaving quickly around you; you have no sense of time or place; but, you can feel.
Ultimately, Shaking Hands is a haunting yet lifting experience. Press play, and just float on the distorted bass, minimal percussion and stuttering guitar riffs she provides. Below, we catch up with B. Miles, and uncover a little more about her musical background, and why things are not always what they seem.
Tell us about how you got into music.
I grew up in a very musical house. My dad grew up in London, so he was constantly teaching me songs from The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. I pretty much had a 101 course in music from the get-go.
Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
I find inspiration from anything. It all stems from an emotion and then I follow that emotion until it brings me to a song. Life is pretty circular to me, and I find that the line always comes back to the beginning. That beginning is music for me.
What have been the most memorable and hardest moments of your musical journey so far?
Well, I’m still in the baby stages right now. I feel like I’m just learning how to speak, in a sense, and I’m just finally formulating words that I want to say. I guess my hardest moments came when I was younger and I had a hard time grasping realities. It’s hard to “make it” and it takes a tonne of time. I think once I met Eric Nizgretsky, my song writing partner, it all started to make sense and I starting enjoying the process. My most memorable moment was playing at Mercury Lounge, about a month ago. It was my first time playing in New York, and it was incredible! The energy of the venue and the crowd was absolutely electric.
What have you been up to since your first release this year?
Working on more music! I am thrilled by how well Nine Matches was received and I’m very happy with the response from Shaking Hands thus far. I’ve been pushing away in the studio with Eric and Noise Club to pump out some more tracks.
Describe the story behind it. Did you hope to achieve a different response or feeling with the second track?
Nine Matches and Shaking Hands are very different in their feelings. Nine Matches was the most personal track I had written at that point, and it was my first release. So, I was incredibly nervous about exposing myself so much with a first release. Shaking Hands is less personal because, instead of a story about me, it’s a darker tale of Aesop’s fable, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. I wanted Shaking Hands to demonstrate that sometimes there’s a darker more disturbing picture behind what you’ve always been told.
How would you describe your sound through all five senses?
Sight: 5:50 am in a diner asking yourself “why”
Touch: worn leather couch from 1950
Taste: smoky bourbon straight out of the barrel
Hear: roosters and birds conversing to start the day
Smell: dew in the morning
Who or what are some of your personal inspirations?
Mick Jagger – all the way. Not only is he the lead singer of my all-time favourite band, but he commands your attention with everything he does. When you watch him, you’re absolutely captivated. He’s a fashion icon, a music icon, and a social icon. I grew up on that dude.
What does it take to be a young and upcoming musician today?
In my opinion, it’s all about being resilient. This online world is crazy, and people could forget about you quicker than their last step. You have just got to stick with it and stay confident. That sounds like a cliché, but trust me, it isn’t.
This time next year, where do you hope to be?
I hope to be doing exactly what I’m doing; making music and performing. I can only hope people will love what I do in the future.
This time next month…?
Releasing more music! Keep your eyes peeled.
Shaking Hands is now available, released on Tuesday 28.07.2015
Photography by Josh Aronson