When most people think of California, they think of surfers and movie stars. Those things are in California, but there is so much more. There are mountains and desert, date farms, Salvation Mountain, Slab City, elementary schools which grow their own food for the kids’ lunches, there are incredible, craggy beaches, Joshua Tree National Park, there are coyotes who prowl the streets of Los Angeles after dark, there is a house with a tank full of goldfish on the porch in Long Beach, there is enough sunshine for everyone. This California, the one with the pacific sunrises and rocky hiking trails, is drawn and written all over this album.
Miner is a six person folk band from Silverlake, California, an area where I like to go to find art, classy comic book stores, and delicious grilled cheese. This album is making me miss this western land and I run the risk of making this review too personal because it is bringing back all of my most beautiful memories. I hope that this album would do the same for you, or open up your imagination to memories you want to make soon.
This album opens up with a sunrise. “Dawn” features such striking harmonies. You feel the golden pink sunlight warming up your toes and your eyes. “Farewell to the night sky.” the light croons as it glitters on the water, the memory of stars fades softly.
You stay there in the fresh, wide-eyed morning. The tempo picks up as the sun rises higher. “Golden Ocean” is mulling over memories of a relationship that ended sadly. The lyrics reflect on time in the mountains and beg to be covered in sunshine to heal, to find yourself again. By the end, you realize that you weren’t right for that person and you move on.
“Hey, Love” is the song that everyone is singing in their souls. It’s a walk down the street, people catching your eye. It is meeting someone and sharing a laugh. It is walking away and wondering if you will ever see them again, wondering what the future would be like with that person. This song is looking for love, looking for friendship. Standing in wonder at the people who your path crosses. “Hold up your hands if you hear me. I’m coming, honey. Hold on. Hold on. Lift up the sun with your love.”
“Last Night” begins with some lively banjo. The song induces foot stomping and finger tapping. It’s an evening in the desert song. It is a dancing and eating campfire food with your best friends song. “Last night was the last night I’m your parachute.”
“Waitin’ for a golden age with a garden in the sun.” This song is what dreams are made of. “Golden Age” is lying in the shadow of a mountain and dreaming of the beginning of the world. It is slow and sultry with subtle harmonies. It is dry and glittering. “Followin’ the river to a cabin in the woods where the world can start again.” The music rises in the last moments leaving you with echoing remnants of the sun sinking into the sea.
I’m digging this band. I love their warm, sunshine sound that is a little bit dusty from the desert and the streets of LA. I love their nostalgic lyrics that reflect the natural world around them. I love their subtle harmonies, the banjo, and everything. Give these cool kids a listen, they’re brilliant.