David Myles a music nerd at heart

David Myles has long been a unique musical voice on the east coast. Combining elements of folk, blues, jazz and pop, Myles is no mere folk singer. He has consistently pushed the boundaries of each of the aforementioned genres, bringing them together in a unique yet familiar way.

Myles is currently on the road promoting his latest offering, Into The Sun, and will be performing at Sackville’s Vogue Theatre tomorrow evening.

For his newest record, Myles continues to expand upon his sound, bringing both mainstream influences of Paul Simon as well as the lesser known Brazilian artist Jorge Ben to the plate. In listening to the record, it is evident that Myles is in a happy place these days. Mind you, Myles comes across as a happy soul the minute you begin speaking with him, but he acknowledges that the sunnier disposition heard on many of his new songs was in due part thanks to a newfound approach to recording.

“For this record, I would often write a song at home and then hit the studio a couple of days later and get to working on it right away,” a cheerful Myles begins. “It was different for me because typically, I would have a bunch of songs totally finished and rehearsed and would then hit the studio to record them.

After having recorded a few songs, an overarching idea began to develop and the sun had a lot to do with it. Whether it was a lyrical theme or most often some musical element that drew from a tradition from south of the equator. We had done that a bit on previous records but not to this extent.

“I had wanted the album to be reminiscent of someone being in their early 20s, leaving home and seeing the world,” he continues. “That might sound a bit abstract but that was what helped me tie the record together. If I felt like there was a sound that I hadn’t explored or a tempo or theme I hadn’t previously visited, I was inclined to go home and start working towards it.”

Myles began working on Into The Sun shortly after he his previous effort, Turn Time Off, was released last year. Moving from making one record almost directly into the making of another was not something that he had done before, yet in effort to keep his creative juices flowing, he seized every opportunity that he could to keep his creative streak going. No one is more surprised that a new record ended up being born of these creative spurts than Myles was.

“I didn’t really have the idea that I would eventually release the stuff, I just thought it would be good to experiment again and to help me get an idea of where I could go next. After the first couple days of experimenting with the new sounds and songs, I started to see where I might be able to go with it and eventually, that became Into The Sun.”

Taking his music to new places is not a scary prospect for Myles. He embraces the opportunity to expand upon his sound and keep his fans curious as to what his next move will be. He admits that the range of influences brought to Into The Sun were among his most diverse yet.

“I have always worn my influences pretty openly but this time, I really started to draw upon stuff that is maybe a bit less common in the typical singer-songwriter world.

“Getting into this record, I had been going through a real period of fascination with late ’60s and ’70s Brazilian stuff and some great funk and soul stuff from Nigeria and Ghana from around the same era. I always find that when I get really into something it starts to find ways to sneak into my writing and with this record I just went for it a bit more than I had before,” he shares.

“Ironically, I think that perhaps because I was less concerned about how the music would ultimately be released, I was willing to take more in the way of risks; that was the main purpose of this record. I wanted to push myself, take some risks that I hadn’t before and really embrace my inner music nerd.”

Article published in December 2, 2011 edition of the Times & Transcript