Louisville-based singer/songwriter, guitarist and producer Les Miles is the creative mastermind behind the JOVM mainstay act Chief Ghoul. Sonically Miles’ work meshes old school Kentucky folk with Mississippi Delta Blues and Chicago Blues –in particular the work of the likes Lightnin’ Hopkins, Blind Willie Johnson, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters‘ acoustic blues and John Lee Hooker paired with poetic lyricism rooted in an overall belief in music as therapy.
Miles’ sixth Chief Ghoul album, These Lycanthropic Blues is slated for a June, 2021 release, and the album reportedly finds the Louisville-based JOVM mainstay tracing a sepia finger chronologically through Miles’ musical journey and influences — but while also revealing where he’s heading in the future. Along with that, the forthcoming album is the second album of his expanding output since 1892 that finds Miles producing his own work, after getting tired of the creative restraints of more commercial studios. But while 1892 was deeply connected to its lo-fi and hauntingly stark predecessors, These Lycanthropic Blues reportedly is centered around a much more three-dimensional yet earthy sound — with additions to the sonic palette, like piano, dirty bass, percussion and occasional cavernous sounding drums. Throughout it all, the autonomy of self-producing has allowed miles to make his work as personal, vulnerable and true to his old-soul.
Interestingly, These Lycanthropic Blues’ latest single, album closer “The Blackest of Souls” reveals Miles’ new sonic direction — stoner rock tinged, dive bar blues, centered around grungy and sludgy power chords, thunderous drumming, Miles’ bluesy baritone wail and a rousingly anthemic hook. It may be the most primal, forceful song of his career while remaining as menacing as ever.
Directed, filmed and edited by Aaron Tyler, the recently released video employs the use of shadows in a trippy fashion — first with seductively dancing woman, stripping and tantalizing the viewer; but the video takes turn for the dark, as monsters and mayhem lurking about.