Miles Sievwright – A Certain Kind Of Loneliness [Berlin EP]


Slow and sleepy meets bold and intricate

miles sievwright

A while back I interviewed Miles Sievright after an intimate gig at The Waiting Room in Cape Town. Back then, we spoke about dirty social politics, introspection and lazy days to write music in his room in Kloof Street. Fast forward five years and his music have evolved in strength and in content, in narrative and in technicalities. And no longer was he bound to his home city for inspiration, this album was truly given to the world with the backing of his experience, lifestyle and connection to the city Berlin.

To begin, there must be no expectation. This musician manages to capture himself and his surroundings with the honesty and integrity of an innocent. He looks at the world, and the world comes to him. His view, from within, and without, is his- and it is feels easy to embrace the sincerity the songs hold.

“Look below the window” has an expansive gentleness in its partnership with the guitar chords and Miles’ vocals. Its clarity lies in the ability to glide beyond this world and create another with the tone of the music. The delicacy of the first track contrasts the pace and tempo on “Bottom of the Sea.” The approach on this song is congruent and dreamy, taking the listener on a high roll of further sporadic scratching movements on the guitar and matches them with elongated moans or sighs. The weight of the music together with the layers of the vocals makes for one unique harmony.

Living up to the name of the album, “A Certain Kind Of Loneliness” is like a detox for the soul. An easy song to repeat twice on a playlist, Miles takes us on a journey of interconnectedness- of solitude, of separation. There is great fulfilment in the way he raises and lowers his tonal variety, as if speaking to everyone, but no one at the same time.

“Bobsled” shakes the mood off its track by keeping the arrangement complimentary. As one layer focuses on the injection of charisma, its tender counterpart is to highlight the melody, a sound reminiscent of the energy of today, and every day before that.

He is not only vulnerable to the prism of his fullness in music, but also to the idea that each song has a history, a feeling and a moment to archive, to re-listen and to share. “Dear Flame” breaks all the four compartments of your heart into foam and froth, as if its stillness allows for breath and introspection as the pace levels out and laments to the end.

In an instant, I feel the Durban identity in “Shame.” It is something Guy Buttery seems to do, and in this track, so too does Miles.  The flavour in the introduction is something that resonates with our culture, for outspoken triads and local aromas of deep preservation. Scratching his guitar, with a fiercer finesse and movement, the song vibrates off a frequency known too well by the average South African listener.

It is quite harmonious what happens when you watch the world from the eyes of a cycler. It’s as if the bicycle’s wheels allow you to see things you would often miss out on from that of a pedestrian or a driver. And this is so, in its feel and pace in the track “Bikes to the Lake.” With virtues that take up space in the elevated hymn –like status of the mind, picturesque scenes flash by, just like the smooth and sleepy areas of the music.

Once lethargy settles in, it’s immediately swooped for another kind of energy “In the corner at the back.”  Ending in his signature style, Miles takes the listener from faint eavesdropping to bold contours and dips in his instrument usage. And once it comes to an abrupt end, you cannot help but feel like his adventures and emotions with Berlin and its inhabitants were shared with you every step of the way.

Download A Certain Kind Of Loneliness on Bandcamp. Visit his website and be sure to follow the on SoundcloudTwitter and Facebook to stay up to date.


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