Sensations, feelings, insights, fancies — all these are private and, except through second hand, incommunicable. –Aldous Huxley, “The Doors of Perception”
I’m a shadow waiting in the blue / I’m a magnet with its poles confused / All my failures are lost on you. –Milagres, “Terrifying Sea”
Shadows can be playful: You’re a little kid, making shadow puppets in the tent. Shadows can be menacing: You’re walking alone on an unfamiliar street, and the shifting shapes of darkness stalk you.
The music of Milagres explores the duality of shadows. There’s a prettiness in the swirling synth and dreamy pop, reminiscent of ’80s sounds and textures. Kyle Wilson weaves his gorgeous voice through the songs, shifting between baritone and falsetto. But there’s also an existential darkness to the lyrics and a sense of foreboding created by the band’s use of negative space. Layers of guitars, keys, and synth surge against a backdrop of steady drumming, and then the instruments abruptly pull back and pause, letting Wilson’s vocals shimmer in the darkness.
Last month, the Brooklyn-based Milagres released their third album, “Violent Light” (which you can download here). The band’s sound is bigger here — as Wilson puts it, they wanted “something that was massive and anthemic.” This time, Wilson, Fraser McCulloch (bass), and Chris Brazee (keyboard, synths) are joined by their new bandmate, Paul Payabyab (drums).