Album Review: Miles East – Between Lightning and Thunder

Miles East navigates the choppy waters and intense storms of a faltering relationship on his new album Between Lightning and Thunder

Relationships can often difficult to navigate, pull of unpredictable shifts and changes in the landscape that can make things feel smooth and peaceful or like an uphill battle where the elements seem to be working against you and trying to wear you down. These feelings and contrasts are explored throughout celebrated artist Miles East‘s revered new album Between Lightning and Thunder, a collection of tracks that see a relationship as a voyage, and in this particular instance, one that has hit dark waters and is in danger of falling apart.

The album opens with his single ‘Better Than Here’, a track that sees the artist showing off the poignant and immersive nature of his sound as he hopes for a better future than the situation that he finds himself in right now. The stirring nature of the sound and its effortlessly catchy and captivating appeal immediately endear you to the artist and his plight, and provide us with a likeable and relatable protagonist figure to follow throughout the album and his journey.

‘All Hands On Deck’ follows, another single from the artist, and a track that has a little bit more of an atmospheric and dark tone when compared to its predecessor. The track leans into a rockier and more intense sound while still packed full of the intricate nuances and emotional core that make the artist feel so special and distinctive, continuing to set the tone of the album and some of the jeopardy and more troubling moments that could be yet to come in the narrative.

‘Lying Down’ and ‘It’s Ours To Lose’ are tracks that reaffirm just how gorgeous and soft the artist’s sound can feel while continuing to bring out this underlying intensity and sense of unease within the soundscape. With the latter’s refrain of “it’s ours to lose” doing a great job of reminding you what is at stake and the potential ramifications of things further falling apart.

There is a moment of appreciation and hope that ‘Lucky To Be Here Tonight’ provides, the third of three singles from the album and one that embodies a sense of vulnerability and warmth as the artist instead opts to look on the bright side of things rather than becoming consumed by the darkness that has surrounded him at times. This moving and immersive track should serve as a message to listeners all over, providing a thoughtful bit of advice to still find the beauty in the small things regardless of what life has in store for you.

The artist’s nuanced tone and engrossing harmonies come to the fore on ‘For A Sky Of Crimson’ and ‘Circling the Drain’, with these tracks offering more more subdued, laid-back vibes and soundscapes that continue to showcase the captivating nature of the artist’s writing, with the ‘For A Sky Of Crimson’ in particular having a multi-faceted and complex nature lyrically that often delves into darker territory in spite of its easy-going sound.

The album’s title track ‘Between Lightning and Thunder’ sees the artist continuing to battle against the adversity and maintain the optimism that has carried him throughout the album so far, continuing to highlight just how engrossing his soundscapes feel and how effortlessly easy it is to find yourself lost at sea with the artist thanks to his powerful imagery and deftness as an artist.

The emotional core of the album comes within its standout penultimate track ‘Song of Hope’, a release that sees the artist looking to expand upon this sense of optimism in the face of adversity that has defined the album, imploring us to hold out hope for a brighter future and embrace whatever life throws at us, in anticipation for better times following the conclusion of our struggles and hardship.

The album closes out with ‘All I Need’, a stirring and thoughtful love song that seems to imply that the stormy weather and choppy seas are a thing of the past, with the artist through to the other side and his relationship in tact. The journey that the artist has taken us on over the last 10 tracks all comes together in resonating and rewarding fashion here, and the delicate nature of the sound and the heart that is poured into the soft vocals. It is a full circle moment that feels packed full of warmth and heart, and feels as satisfying as the conclusion to any great TV show or movie thanks to the artistry and storytelling of the artist.