Picks Up The Pace On Unhinged New Single
‘Conspiracies, Cults & UFOs’
New album Heat Comes Down
out October 6th via Rounder Records
Miller plays Catbird Festival this weekend, Healing Appalachia benefit with Tyler Childers, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Marcus King and more in September
John R. Miller has just released his frenetic new single ‘Conspiracies, Cults & UFOs’, which is taken from his new album Heat Comes Down, coming out via Rounder Records on October 6th.
As Miller frantically sings about sleep-deprived all-night drives, the music attempts to keep up the raucous pace as he unleashes a feverish attack that he sums up as “part road ode, part yelling into the void about the things people will believe just because they’re told to. I’m not a conspiracy-theorist myself, but I’ve always been fascinated by what people get into their heads and obsess over.”
Fueled by Miller’s motormouth vocal delivery and a glorious triple-guitar attack, ‘Conspiracies, Cults, and UFOs’ reaches a hair-raising peak at the bridge, when Jeff Taylor (a multi-instrumentalist whose credits include Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello) lays down the most explosive piano solo this side of Jerry Lee Lewis. Watch a live studio performance of the track here.
“We did most of the album live to tape, but with that one we needed a second take with just the band,” Miller recalls. “I got to sit in the control room and watch, and when Jeff did that piano part I involuntarily shouted.”
Miller belongs to the rare breed of songwriters whose expansive introspection uncovers many truths about the state of the human condition. On Heat Comes Down, the West Virginia-raised, Nashville-based artist intimately narrates his sleepless nights and nostalgic daydreams, existential dread, and nuanced observations of the troubled world around him. But whilst a number of its songs convey a certain unease, Miller endlessly imparts the kind of lovely reassurance that can only come from shared catharsis.
The new single follows the release of the slow-rolling ‘Ditcher’, which saw Miller and his band record a languid, dream-like version at the Sound Emporium in Nashville, TN and premiered with Brooklyn Vegan.
The follow-up to his 2021 Rounder Records debut Depreciated—an album No Depression said “casually saunters towards a full existential breakdown that’ll leave you gasping for air”— Heat Comes Down finds Miller teaming up with producers Andrija Tokic and John James Tourville (both known for their work with artists like Sunny War and The Deslondes). Over a 3-day session at The Bomb Shelter (Tokic’s Nashville studio), Miller joined forces with several members of his longtime live band (drummer John Clay Burchett, guitarist J. Tom Hnatow, fiddle player Chloe Edmonstone) as well as bassist Craig Burletic and the aforementioned Jeff Taylor.
Miller will head out on a two-month autumn tour across the US, wrapping up in Nashville, TN for a Lightning 100 ‘Nashville Sunday Night’ show at 3rd & Lindsley.
This weekend, Miller plays at Catbird Festival in Bethel, NY, and next month the West Virginia-raised Miller takes part in the Healing Appalachia benefit show in Lewisburg, WV alongside other acts including Tyler Childers, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit, Marcus King and more. The show raises funds for Hope in the Hills, which helps support recovery efforts around central Appalachia. For all tour dates and ticket info please head to his website here.