10 May 2016

Misty Miller / The Whole Family Is Worried (album review)

Misty Miller put her first album out about 6 years ago, when she was 16; a ukelele-type cutesy Juno indie pop type thing, perhaps as 2007 as it could have got without actually being 2007. But here we are in 2016: since then, the South Londoner has cut her hair short-ish, dyed it black, gone tattoo mad, and - most artististically importantly - spent a fair amount of time as part of The Fat White Family's grimey entourage, and well, you can hear a lotta change here. On this record, The Whole Family Is Worried, Misty Miller positions herself as grunge's most exciting upstart; her music is ravaged, rugged, and it doesn't grow staid or predictable for the whole duration.

Misty has a razor-sharp vocal delivery that'll pierce straight into your eardrums from the first verse of opener Happy. "Yeah, for once I'm happy" she sings, exerting a voice that sounds filthy and full of attitude whilst all the while sounding incredibly elasticky and capable of hitting the high notes in a more accessible pop capacity. Quite honestly, on this and similarly dark gun-slingers like Marmalade, Misty sounds like Florence Welch got into some properly dark drugs, and in all honesty it benefits the grimey, grungey feel of the music so much that you almost wanna buy Florence her first hit.

Tracks like Devils sear straight through you in their out-and-out rock 'n' roll brilliance, with an intense riff that's staggeringly dangerous sounding, whilst Sugar To Me does the complete opposite; it gives you one to slow dance to, a heavily opiated waltz of sorts, which you could really imagine being played at a wedding. Well, the right kinda wedding. The lyrics are simple, but just so effective and fiercely relatable; "I'm not thinking about you/I'm not drinking without you" Misty cries, making it just a really solid love song, moving at least to me. Next To Me and Happy are both highlights in that they're brilliant, strutting, self-assured pop songs that are just unstoppable in their time and place.

Misty's been making music a while, but she's a young talent that's gonna make marks on the scene for years to come. This is a really piercing, electrifying debut, and one of the first quote-unquote grunge albums I've heard in quite some time, really. Her voice is fantastic, her delivery effortlessly cool, and to make it all into one coherent, enjoyable package, some of the riffing is outta this world. Misty Miller's made her first claw marks on the landscape of British music with a record that is her first big stepping stone to becoming one of the scene's coolest provocateurs.


Words: Calum Cashin