Phil Abernethy is a self-taught guitar player from Norwich, UK. Inspired by Daniel Johnston’s home recording and self-distribution Abernethy recorded his album Miles To Go at his home using a minimal setup. The recording is lo-fi but fortunately the album is sparse enough that it doesn’t have too much of an adverse effect on the songs. This album consists of mostly Abernethy and his guitar but some other instruments support the cause such as a harmonica, keyboard, banjo and tambourine. The songs are filled with melancholy, nostalgia and enough intimacy to create a solid experience.
The album begins with “Confess Your Sin” which sounds like it is titled. It sounds like Abernethy is confessing with conviction as he talks about past regrets. He adds sparse banjo, which is a nice touch as well as harmonizing with another vocalist. It is a decent song although it drags a bit. He doesn't change thing up much and runs a bit dry by the time we get to the end of the song. One of the highlights of the album is “Do You Wanna Know?” Abernethy plays a delicate melody on guitar that is backed by the slightest of bells that you can hear in the background. His vocal melody verse is good and only gets better when it repeats, “Do you wanna know why I love you so?”
“We Are Lost” is one of saddest songs on the album. No light in the tunnel on this one but there are also some nice vocal harmonies that make the song bearable. The album ends with another highlight called “You.” The song is sweet and exudes child-like innocence.
Abernethy has a number of solid songs and others that don't work as well on the album. If you need a quick fix of acoustic singer/songwriter melancholy Miles To Go is your treat.
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