After spending years leading Boston-based art rock collective The Solars, whose 2017 EP Retitled Remastered landed on DigBoston‘s Best Massachusetts Albums of 2017, Miles Hewitt returned to Harvard College to finish his award-winning collection of poems The Candle is Forever Learning to Sing.
Following his graduation in 2018, Hewitt relocated to Western Massachusetts’ Pioneer Valley, settling in a small hill town, just down the road from a friend’s recording studio — and a few miles from where he spent the first year of his life. It was amidst the cycling greens, browns and blues of the Pioneer Valley, where Hewitt began writing the songs that would become Hewtti’s ambitious and wide-ranging solo debut Heartfall. Drawing from British and American folk music, 70s songwriter rock, psychedelia, krautrock and electronic music, Heartfall‘s is reportedly an album for album-lovers. And while the material is formally spare, few of the album’s arrangements have recognizable verse/chorus structures, instead holding patterns that melt away only when fully exhausted. “As I became interested in a less anthropocentric mentality, I wondered if this could be expressed through formally organic songs, built from looping phrases or motifs and evolving at the level of the line,” Hewitt explains.
The effect of these slow changes — a kind of temporal dilation that can make it easy to forget just how long you’ve been listening to a given song — invites a state of consciousness more familiar in drone and ambient music than most rock ‘n’ roll.
After relocating to Brooklyn in 2019, Hewitt began recruiting a variety of serious session players including members of the backing bands for Devendra Banhart, Kevin Moby and Aldous Harding, including Jared Samuel (organ), David Christian (drums), Shahzad Ismaily (piano) and Jack McLoughlin (guitar) and a cast of others, who all contributed to the Hewitt-produced recording sessions.
Heartfall‘s latest single, the vibey “The Ark” begins with the sound of rushing water, before quickly morphing into a tempest of jazz fusion drumming, glistening Rhodes, sinuous bass, atmospheric electronics. The song’s second section is a dreamy bit of guitar-driven Pink Floyd meets Radiohead-like psychedelia that slows down to a laconic fade out. The song ends with a folksy piano-driven coda. Although the song doesn’t hew to a familiar or recognizable chorus, verse, bridge structure, it’s all held together by the deft and seemingly effortless rhythm section and Hewitt’s tender vocals. Thematically, the song details the search for the Biblical — and mythical — vessel that can deliver humanity from certain doom.
Heartfall is slated for an August 26, 2022 release.
Hewitt will be embarking on a tour to support his full-length debut. Check out the tour dates below.
Aug 03 – Khyber Pass Pub – Philadelphia, PA
Aug 04 – Garden Grove Brewing Company – Richmond, VA
Aug 05 – Down Yonder Farm – Hillsborough, NC
Aug 06 – Story Parlor – Asheville, NC
Aug 09 – 5 Spot – Nashville, TN
Aug 10 – Northside Tavern – Cincinnati, OH
Aug 11 – Rear End Gastropub – Pittsburgh, PA
Aug 12 – The Avalon Lounge – Catskill, NY
Aug 13 – Lilypad – Cambridge, MA
Aug 14 – Sun Tiki Studios – Portland, ME