hard to say exactly when it happened.
It could’ve been during
one of the 100+ shows played over the past two years—ecstatic sold-out dance
parties that started in tiny, sweaty rooms before word of mouth spread and
forced a move to larger (and even sweatier) venues.
might’ve been when touring guitarist Patrick Morris officially became a
full-time member in late 2011, rounding out a line-up that included
multi-instrumentalists Josh Hodges, Shawn Glassford, and Keil Corcoran.
likely, though, there wasn’t a single defining moment when the change occurred.
With evolution there rarely is.
progression happens naturally and steadily—each step leading inevitably to the
next until you reach a point when you realize how far you’ve come without even
being fully aware of how you got there.
In early 2012, during a
rare break in the group’s touring schedule, Hodges retreated to secluded
Astoria, Oregon. But this time, rather than completely isolating himself to
work on new material (as had always been the case in the past), Hodges invited
the other members to visit often and truly collaborate in the process of
writing ’s third full-length, Miracle Mile.
And so it was that became
As a result, whether
participating in all-night lyric writing sessions, fleshing out song skeletons
originally conceived during European soundchecks (“Malmo”) and long van rides
(“Leave It All Behind”), or completing half-finished ideas kicking around
Hodges’ brain and hard drive, there isn’t a single song on Miracle Mile that
every member of didn’t contribute to and ultimately improve.
proof, look no further than first single and opening track “While I’m Alive,” a
song that bursts out of the gate with what can only be described as swagger.
Not overconfidence or false bravado, but the undeniable sound of a band that
knows exactly who they are: swirling keyboards that take you up, down, and all
around, rhythmic guitars, irresistible basslines, and drums that keep an
standout “Atlantis” is the paragon of this formula, with vocal and musical
hooks seemingly custom fitted to a spot so deep inside your eardrums they’ll
upbeat isn’t Miracle Mile’s only tempo.
it’s in quieter moments like “Isea,” which briefly slows down the album’s pulse
with gentle “oh-oh-ohs” over acoustic guitar, that the record truly coalesces
as a complete whole that couldn’t have come together any other way.
Just like .
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