Album Review: One Man Band // Miles Kane

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A year on from 2022’s Change The ShowMiles Kane has returned to his stable indie-rock roots, with satisfying riffs and energetic choruses aplenty in his latest effort – One Man Band.

Despite the title, Kane’s latest is a collaborative effort, with The Corals’ James and Ian Skelly, Circa Waves’ Kieran Shudall and Blossoms’ Tom Ogden offering a hand with production, instrumentals and vocals. The resulting 11 songs are stylish, Sixties-soaked indie rock tunes, perfect for incoming tour audiences (and those who weren’t lucky enough to bag tickets) to get lost in.

The album bursts into life with the high energy ‘Troubled Son’, a track which Kane told NME “represents the album as a whole”. Inward looking and sensitive, the opener showcases Kane’s talent for producing tracks made for live shows. It’s an opener that packs a punch without straying too far from the music stylings he has built his career around.

The initial fast paced sound is echoed in ‘The Best Is Yet To Come’ and title track ‘One Man Band’, both built on gripping riffs and soaring, euphoric choruses. There are subtle nods to previous releases, with Coup De Grace-esque ‘Never Taking Me Alive’ and ‘Heartbreaks (The New Sensation)’ feels tailor-made for this release’s predecessor, Change The Show, but every track feels fresh and polished.

Previous releases ‘The Wonder’ and ‘Baggio’ prove to be earworms, the exhilarating instrumentals of the former and laid back yet emotive nature of the latter make them impressive listens that people will come back to again and again. Glam-rock influenced ‘Ransom’ takes the album on a detour, into more delicate and understated territory – it’s the kind of song that stops you in your tracks and gives the listener a chance to appreciate Kane’s vocal range, rather than the instruments drowning him out.

‘Doubles’ is a quick, harmony-laced song which truly encapsulates the fact that – as much as this is Kane laying his soul bare – music is always about someone putting passion and fun out into the world. Penultimate track ‘Heal’ has a haunting, slightly melancholic sound – fitting as Kane puts himself out there not only as a musician but also as a person throughout this offering in particular. Everything is stripped back on acoustic closing track ‘Scared To Love’, as Kane croons along to subtle guitar melodies and proves to be extremely personal and vulnerable with this particular song, especially when he sings “I lose my focus when I get closest/ So the words don’t come out right/ A grand illusion or just confusion / Either way, I’m lost tonight”. It’s not the most memorable closing track but it’s fitting for an album that strives to show audiences the man behind the music.

There’s not much that loyal fans of Kane (and new fans going through his discography) haven’t heard before on his latest album, but the rousing opening, slightly melancholic middle and introspective conclusion prove to be satisfying proof that sometimes returning to your roots does wonders.

Words by Jen Rose


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