“It’s been a long time in the coal mine,”
and I seem to be stuck in an endless pursuit of new treasures and sounds to keep my music pallet satisfied. After a while now of picking away at various bands, I’ve decided that dropping the pick ax, getting your hands a little dirty and stepping outside the house to go experience live music is the best way to hunt.
I made my way to Harlow’s in Downtown Sacramento with the initial intention of seeing Cayucas but the opening act Miner quickly grasped my attention. The epitome of the “girl next door,” looking cheery and upbeat, prepped her instrument along with the rest of the band, making those happy little sounds from time to time that can only come from plucking the strings of a ukulele. Her partner in crime, later determined to be the lead singer, stood on stage with a classic country beard and a shockingly full head of hair. The adorable husband and wife chemistry they brought to the stage was absolutely infectious! Take a boy/girl duo with an “Of Monsters and Men” folk aura, give them a more down to earth feel, and you’ve got Miner. Though unlike our “Monster” friends, this underground pair has more straight forward vocals and their songs lack the same lyrical ambiguity of the former. This allows for an authentic home grown sound that is honest real and overall, refreshing. Peppering in a bit of rich country twang into their style (although not too much to tamper with the folk rock sound), the lovebirds seem to sing from the heart and belt out unscripted emotion that is purely heartwarming.
Naturally, by the end of the night, the band had won me over and I was suckered into buying their CD Into the Morning (which they ever so kindly autographed) . It was undoubtedly a worth while purchase because it has become one of the new precious gems in my collection.
From start to finish, the album shifts through different stages of love, cycling through the initial feeling of something more, to losing it for a while, only to rediscover it in a merry reunion. The album brings to mind new beginnings- happy ones full of fondness and affection and despite a few blue lyrics here and there, the music never loses touch with the joy of the simplicity that comes from nature and life and being able to share that with those you care about. In an interview, lead singer Justin Miner remarked “this was all about entering a phase of light and positivity. A lot of the music I had been making prior to this had been centered around more negative emotions. I wanted to make a record about the good parts in life.” (http://lamusicblog.com/) The hint of sadness and reality in the track When I Win You Over is overshadowed by the hope of winning back a love and starting a new life together; “When I win you over, we’ll count the flowers growing in the yard.”
The relationship between Kate and Justin is really the bond that brings the sounds of Into the Morning together, for they relate to their music, being a married couple who has inevitably been through various ups and downs. This fact makes their songs all the more impactful and in seeing them perform, the love they share is almost palpable. I am lucky to have listened to them live and my CD is sure to receive hours more of playing time, along with a place in my 2014 favorites.