Photography by: Sarah Barlow
Review by: Christina Mahachek
Reminiscent of artists like Halsey and Carrie Underwood, Marie Miller’s album, Letterbox incorporates upbeat songs like This Side of Paradise as well as downcast and somber songs like Boardwalk, Glitter Gold, and Lost at Sea. This album tells a tale that begins as a hopeful and maybe even naïve euphoria, but takes a darker turn. Lost at Sea conveys a feeling of hopelessness and perhaps confusion on where their relationship stands. The fact that it happens to take place at sea may suggest that the relationship is somewhat rocky and perhaps even turbulent.
Next Best Thing reminds me of Carrie Underwood’s song, Before He Cheats; incorporating the upbeat tune and melody while including a gloomy undertone and lyrics. It suggests a cheating ex that is only looking for the next new thing which the narrator/artist is trying to convey to his current interest. This action of forewarning eventually turns to indifference or an almost “I told you so” mood.
Miller does not just stick with one mood for her songs and the way Letterbox transitions from Next Best Thing to Glitter Gold brilliantly exemplifies this. “We’ve all got broken hearts and scars up to the sky” are lyrics that really grabbed me and pulled on my heartstrings. It makes the heartbreak more tangible. Glitter Gold has a tone of desperation and loss and it was hard to stay dry eyed while listening to it. Angeline really threw me for a loop because despite the upbeat tempo and beat the lyrics talk about a more negative topic of losing someone of importance. “I’m no good at goodbyes, but you didn’t even try you just drifted away” hit me right in the feelings. Everyone has experienced at one point in their lives the loss of someone close, whether it be a significant other or a close friend. While breakups and fallouts are painful, what hurts more is the gradual fading away and distancing in the relationship. You can feel distance widening, but there’s nothing you can do except reflect on old memories.
Story is very upbeat and had me dancing along in my chair. It’s a song I can see being played on the radio. It reminds me of Taylor Swift meets Carrie Underwood meets Halsey. It is a song to add to your summer playlist. Two to One gives me a feeling of connection and intimacy; how the artist and their love interest become one in the same. Have you ever loved someone so much and spent so much time with them that you basically become the same person? This song reminds me of something like that; it makes me think that it’s what soul mates look like.
Stones You Throw reminds me a lot of Ed Sheeran and I could see him covering this song (I mean how cool would that be?). Nostalgia mixed with happiness and resignation flow through this song had me missing a relationship I never had. The mention of stones being thrown makes me think of Romeo and Juliet; the forbidden love. It also reminds me of throwing rocks into the water and how one action creates a multitude of ripples; meaning that one small action can create a chain reaction so be careful what you do.
More had me in tears from the very beginning. The slow tempo and the use of the guitar really create the tone of this song. The effect of slowing down the tempo really helps to solidify the sadness and heartbreak that is being sung about. If you’ve ever been hurt by someone or simply need a song to cry to this is the song.
Sparkling brings the mood back to positivity and I found myself moving my head back and forth to the beat and it was hard to stop myself from getting up and dancing. It’s such a drastic change from More which just shows that love and relationships don’t remain static, they are constantly moving and there is no stopping the flood of memories from bursting forth.
I knew The Lonely Ends was going to mess me up before I heard the first note. I love the way it mixes hopeful optimism with tearful resignation. Not knowing if this relationship will work out; not now but maybe in the future. Trying to focus on the here and now, but always been drawn back to tomorrow. The fear of not knowing if this will ever work out blocks out the present.
Overall this album was an emotional journey that I was glad to be a part of. I recommend giving her music a listen because it tells a story of emotional growth and maturation and I think everyone needs some inspiration every now and again. Marie Miller is an artist to keep an eye on because I have no doubt that she’ll be the next Halsey or Christina Perri.
You can purchase Marie Miller’s album here: http://mariemillermusic.com