Track of the Week

James Miles – Stellwerk

14th June 2021

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Summer is here, the sun is out, here’s some new music.

This week it’s from James Miles, whose debut EP, ‘Stellwerk’, is out now. The sombre neo-classical and electronic hybrid is perfect for a reflective summer stroll.

Take a listen and discover more about the track below.

What was your inspiration when you began writing the track?

The EP was primarily inspired by spending time at a piano and making sense of my experiences of isolation and the lockdown last year. In turn, this caused all kinds of self-doubt and questioning, as I had finally the time to take stock of the world and what I wanted from it. ‘Maze’, which was the first track written for the EP, is kind of a musical summary of all the self-doubt I felt. ‘Fire in the Belly’ is about chasing that light at the end of the tunnel, which only now, a year later, seems to be close. The final track, ‘Contract’, was written about the pandemic’s sinister political and business side and how it brought all the faults within existing high societal contracts.

Are there any artists that inspire you when writing?

As an electronic musician, I would say the solo work of Thom Yorke and also Jon Hopkins.

What is key to your sound, and how do you make your music stand out?

The Piano is a crucial element to my solo project. Having spent most of my formative years playing the guitar, it could have taken only a pandemic to realise that my artistic voice was lying within my second instrument, the piano, which I had discounted for many years as a writing tool.

How does your songwriting process work?

Sow the seeds of an idea via Logic in a moment when I am inspired, then keep on coming back to it to see if it sticks.

Describe your sound in 3 words…

As I’ve been told: thought-provoking, neo-classical and ambient.

How has studying at BIMM helped you develop as an artist?

By giving me the space to discover my artistry.

What’s next for you?

Now live music is looking hopeful once again, I’ll be spending a summer busy gigging with various projects I am involved with as a session musician. In addition, I may be announcing a solo show soon to play the EP and new material, which I hope to release by the end of the year.

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