You Need To Hear It

by Sam Miller

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about

This isn't the first time that a voice threw you. Names come to mind: Mark Lanegan, Neko Case. Cash. Those heavy voices, rich and consuming, carried within tunes so effortlessly the songs themselves felt like musical Trojan horses. This has happened before. But never quite like this. This is You Need To Hear It, the debut from singer/songwriter Sam Miller.

Raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Sam took his philosophy degree and his guitar and moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he played trumpet, bass, and guitar throughout the Canadian countryside with the bilingual folkrock group Wintermitts. He then returned to Albuquerque to front his own groups Grand Canyon and Jenny Invert, while also touring extensively with longtime friend Ryan McGarvey. In 2011, Sam moved to Seattle, Washington, where he established himself as a multi-instrumentalist producer and performer, supporting the likes of Ravenna Woods, Benjamin Verdoes, and many other distinctive Northwest talents. During this time in Seattle, Sam also recorded the collection of songs you have before you.

The experience of playing just about every kind of instrument in just about every kind of band has given Sam a profound pop sensibility and a fluency for creating deep, decadent arrangements. Think Mikal Cronin and Richard Swift crafting the perfect ballad for a hangover. But don't waste time seeking saccharine in this piano pop. Every element is as intentional, precise, and cutting as a forged blade. There is sweetness, yes--it's here in abundance--but it is of a molasses glow, stable and honest. As the melody evolves on "Doesn't Take Much," the strings and piano unfold like the petals of a flower seen through a kaleidoscope. When Sam bellows "When I dive/ into our shallow history/ You and I/ Are merely memories," on the exquisitely layered title track, the weightless waltz of the melody betrays the heft of the message it carries.

Here, in these songs, is the warmth of a campfire. Here is prom night angst and the wooden yawn of your father’s house at 3AM. Here is the exhaustion of moving, of seeing your life as a castle of cardboard boxes. Here, singing all of it, is the voice of Sam Miller. And you need to hear it.

credits

released July 1, 2014

This is a compilation/mixtape of my favorite recordings from the past three years in Seattle. Twas an honor to work with all these good friends and amazing musicians:

August Johnson
David Schripsema
Sean Alkire
Nick Shadel
Ian Williams
Matt Badger
Kyle O'Quin
Lizzy Allen
Chris Cunningham
Aaron Benson
Juan Quiroga
Paul Kowalczyk
Hanna Benn
Jon Maus
Karolina Faflak
Rebecca Huffman
Austin Larkin
Whitney Flinn

Mastered by Sean McCullough
Photo by Will Miller
write-up by Ben Taylor 91.7 WSUM

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Sam Miller Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Track Name: Solar System
There's a place for you in this mountain of crates.
Get in the box or be crushed by the weight of everyone else,
in rows on a shelf, in order by name.
Feed your remains to the next generation of god fearing men.
Blessed by a coin, born to defend.
Without you nothing's missing, in this cold solar system.
Thank the distraction of today.
You have the years to listen.
Its voice will take you in.
Thank the distraction of today.
There's a place indeed, on an island for me.
Far off the coast, through an ocean of greed,
I'm building an arc that glows in the dark,
to carry my soul through the night.
The right to be right, and you're taking too long.
Get in the box and we'll get along.
Without you nothing's missing, in this cold solar system.
Thank the distraction of today.
You have the years to listen.
It's voice will take you in.
Thank the distraction of today.
There's a place for me, without you.
Without you.
Without you.
Without you.
Track Name: There & Then
I am younger than I'll ever be again,
and older than I've ever been.
Patiently, grinding through the week.
My soul is dying as we speak.
Over over thinking,
I'm over over thinking it.
I'm over over thinking it.
I've never been so sure of it.
We went there and then,
never were the same way again.
We went there and then,
never felt the same way again.
You don't have to know what you're doing,
to do what you're doing.
You don't have to know what it's called,
to feel it.
You don't have to feel like you've done everything wrong.
We don't last very long, oh, and the truth is simple.
I'm over over thinking.
I'm over over thinking it.
Never been so confident.
Never been so innocent.
We went there and then,
never were the same way again.
We went there and then,
never felt the same way again.
I am younger than I'll ever be again,
and older than I've ever been.
Patiently lying through my teeth.
My phone is dying as we speak.
I'd rather be out of reach.
I'd rather be out of reach.
Track Name: Disappointing Son
Singing out of tune, weekday afternoon.
Everyone's at work.
Sweeping up the floor, clearing out the drawer.
Putting off my chores.
There's so much more I should be doing.
I know what could be done.
No one thought I would become a disappointing son.
Singing out of tune, they'll all be home soon.
Tired from their jobs.
I'm already retired, waiting for the drier.
Rats in the wall.
There's so much more I should be doing.
I know what could be done.
No one thought I would become a disappointing son.
A disappointing son.
A disappointing son.
A disappointing son.
A disappointing son.
Disappointing son.
Disappointing son.
I could be a gear to crank, a wedge to pry, a block to build.
They could make some use of me, and be some perfectly fulfilled.
Alarm is set to noon, dawn is breaking through.
Rats in the wall.
There's so much more I should be doing.
I know what could be done.
Never thought I would become a disappointing son.
A disappointing son.
A disappointing son.
A disappointing son.
A disappointing son.
A disappointing son.
A disappointing son.
A disappointing son.
A disappointing son.
Walk on a run, walk on a run.
Track Name: Doesn't Take Much
I can't believe, it's already tomorrow.
Here forever and never again.
We're in between,
nothing and being forgetful.
Our sky is scattered.
Clouds clear and gather again.
It's the lonely kind of love I trust.
Only an idea, and it's all mine.
Oh, the only hope that we have.
Is listening to silence for advice.
Doesn't take much, unless it's true.
Forever and never again.
I'll wait and see, what seems to be exciting.
Scattered patterns, clouds clear and gather again.
Take anything, you want from me.
These things don't matter.
Clouds clear and gather again.
It's the lonely kind of love I trust.
Only an idea, and it's all mine.
Oh, the only hope that we have.
Is listening to silence for advice.
Doesn't take much, unless it's true.
Forever and never again.
Doesn't take much, to know it's you.
Forever, or never again.
Track Name: Diggin A Grave
I'm digging a grave,
and the earth below me is moist grassy clay.
In walls without windows I will stay.
I wonder what my two cent friends will say.
I saw someone get buried yesterday.
Their friend's two cents were spoken,
then the people parted ways,
taking comfort in a long life they await.
But that long life gets shorter by the day.
And the years roll by faster, till the sun begins to set.
May as well be dead although I am not yet.
So I'm digging a grave,
and the earth below me is moist grassy clay.
In walls without windows I will stay.
I wonder what my two cent friends will say.
I'm digging a grave,
and the earth below me is moist grassy clay.
In walls without windows I will stay.
I wonder what my two cent friends will say.
Track Name: The Steady Flow Of Time
The sun each day is anew,
and rivers, different waters, flowing through.
A part of me must vanish, as I form.
I'm gonna have to die to be reborn.
The steady flow of time is like a flame.
Constant changing always is the same.
There's no use in hanging onto what I've got.
I'm becoming something that I'm not.
Identity is fleeting with the present,
and memory, still clinging to the past.
But even, thoughts are bound to change.
Cause nothing, in the world, is made to last.
The steady flow of time is like a flame.
Constant changing always is the same.
There's no use in hanging onto what I've got.
I'm becoming something that I'm not.
The steady flow of time is like a flame.
Constant changing always is the same.
There's no use in hanging onto what I've got.
I'm becoming something that I'm not.
The steady flow of time is like a flame.
Constant changing always is the same.
There's no use in hanging onto what I've got.
I'm becoming something that I'm not.
The steady flow of time is like a flame.
Constant changing always is the same.
There's no use in hanging onto what I've got.
I'm becoming something that I'm not.
Track Name: I Was Made
I was made, to make more than I take,
to think more than I say.
And I was born, to buy low and sell high,
to tell a noble lie.
I was cut from the fabric of a flag,
my name is printed on the tag.
To make more than I can take,
to think more than I say.
We go where we wanna go.
We hear what we wanna hear.
To find something left behind,
ringing in our ears.
I was taught, to know that we are right,
to see in black and white.
And I was told, to chew with my mouth closed.
And this is what I chose, this is what I chose.
I was cut from the fabric of a flag,
my name is printed on the tag.
To make more than I can take,
to think more than I say.
We go where we wanna go.
We hear what we wanna hear.
To find something left behind,
ringing in our ears.
I was cut from the fabric of a flag,
my name is printed on the tag.
To make more than I can take,
to think more than I say.
We go where we wanna go.
We hear what we wanna hear.
To find something left behind,
ringing in our ears.
Singing through the years.
Quietly we said, goodbye.
Track Name: You Were The One
You were the one, worth getting into,
for all I knew, for all I knew.
You were the one, till I got to know you,
and now we've done all we can do.
The gum in my mouth, is losing its flavor,
blowing your cover, dropping your anchor.
In the pool where we lingered,
pruning our fingers,
oh, you were the one.
You were the one, I wish you still were,
singing along to a song, going nowhere.
Now you're the one, I can't get away from,
drinking a drink that won't get me drunk.
The gum in my mouth, is losing its flavor,
blowing your cover, dropping your anchor.
You were the one, when you were a stranger.
Oh, you were the one.
The gum in my mouth, is losing its flavor,
blowing your cover, dropping your anchor.
You were the one, when you were a stranger.
Oh, you were the one.
Oh, you were the one.
Oh, you were the one.
Oh, you were the one.
Track Name: Far Too Far
You're good, I'm doing well,
So far, as I can tell.
Still, we wonder whether,
we would be better together.
Can't forget a thing,
Staring down the sink.
Trying not to think that,
we would be better together.
You're too far away in a different time of day,
no matter what I do, no matter what I say.
Far too far away, to be with you today,
no matter what I do, no matter what I say.
Carve it into stone.
We'll be fine on our own,
Standing here alone when,
we would be better together.
You're too far away in a different time of day,
no matter what I do, no matter what I say.
Far too far away, to be with you today,
no matter what I do, no matter what I say.
Far too far away.
You're too far away in a different time of day,
no matter what I do, no matter what I say.
Far too far away, to be with you today,
Far too far away, to be with you today,
Far too far away.
Far too far away.
Far too far away.
Far too far away.
Far too far away.
Far too far away.
Far too far away.
Far too far, away.
Track Name: Pioneer Square
My love, loved me back,
only it was all an act.
To her, love, was a word.
Took her word for what it's worth.
Another guy looking around,
for wet cigarettes on the ground.
Left my heart with her there,
down in Pioneer Square.
Left my heart with her there,
down in Pioneer Square.
Her love, was all an act.
No wonder I got nothing back.
Our plans, all fell through.
Guess I'm not the one for you.
Sit and stare at your phone.
You'd rather be here alone.
Wasting my time with her there,
down in Pioneer Square.
Pretending that we were a perfect pair,
down in Pioneer Square.
Wasted my heart on there,
down in Pioneer Square.
Another guy looking around,
for wet cigarettes on the ground,
gave up on love with her there,
down in Pioneer Square.
Gave up on love with here there,
down in Pioneer Square.
Lost my heart to her there,
down in Pioneer Square.
Track Name: You Need To Hear It
The seed of insincerity, buried deep inside of me.
Branching out so aimlessly, we were never meant to be.
You want to say it to someone, you want to say I love you.
There's no truth in love so long, someone else will come along.
You need to say it, you need to say it.
you need to say it to someone.
You need to say it, you need to say it.
you need to say it to someone.
You need to say it, you need to say it.
you need to say it to someone.
You need to say it, you need to say it.
you need to say it to someone.
I feel the eternity before I ever came to be.
Now it's coming after me. Now it's coming back for me.
You want to hear it from someone, you want to hear I love you.
You want some truth before you're gone.
Someone else will come along.
You need to hear it. You need to hear it.
You need to hear it from someone.
You need to hear it. You need to hear it.
You need to hear it from someone.
You need to hear it. You need to hear it.
You need to hear it from someone.
You need to hear it. You need to hear it.
You need to hear it from someone.
You need to hear it. You need to hear it.
You need to hear it from someone.
You need to hear it. You need to hear it.
You need to hear it from someone.
You need to hear it. You need to hear it.
You need to hear it from someone.
You need to hear it. You need to hear it.
You need to hear it from someone.
It's someone else or it's me.
Someone else or it's you.
Somewhere else or it's here.
It's true.
when I dive into our shallow history.
You and I, are merely memories.
It's not me. It's what you want me to be.
When I die, I'll take my soul with me.
It could be us, or it could be them.
it could be now, or it could be then.
No matter where, or when,
it ends.
when I dive into our shallow history.
You and I, we're merely memories.
It's not me, it's what you want me to be.
When I die, I'll take my soul with me.
And I will not be born again.
Track Name: Don't Take Names
No matter who you are,
whichever way you go,
you must return, to where no wind blows.
A lot's uncertain, cept for one guarantee.
However hard you fight, you're still gonna get beat.
Cause at the core, we're all the same.
Eternity, don't take names.
It don't take names,
don't take names,
so in the end, we're all the same.
There's a common place,
where we all meet.
In the infinite darkness, of a dreamless sleep.
A lot's uncertain, cept for one guarantee.
However hard you fight, you're still gonna get beat.
Cause at the core, we're all the same.
Eternity, don't take names.
Don't take names,
don't take names,
So in the end, we're all the same.
In the end, we're all the same.