Canopy Climbers: Miles Album Review

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Tracklist:
01. Always
02. Project
03. Stuck
04. Miles
05. Souvenir
06. Green
07. Melodys
08. Colonizer
09. Umbrella
10. Trip
11. Meeting
This threesome by the way of three different cities, create their slick synth loaded alternative pop music by way of the cloud. Rather than traditionally creating music in a studio, Canopy Climbers send tracks back and forth via the Internet and yet somehow create songs that would dupe even the most acute listener—by simply listening, one could never tell that Canopy Climbers never met in person during the making of their sophomore release, Miles. Perhaps it’s because the album that they’ve created—an album heavily layered in synths and drum machines—is one that seems impossible to make without studio time let alone with each of its band members living in different cities. More impressively, Miles is overflowing with pop melodies that seem to come second hand to Canopy Climbers. As they blend genres through the cloud, they create blissful pop songs that never lose the raw instrumental touch.

“My eyes are stuck in a gaze reflecting every move you make,
another one trapped in a maze repeating all the same mistakes.”

The album’s two singles—”Always” and “Stuck”—envelope you in a whirlwind of synthesizers and tales of doting love which becomes a crucial indicator for what’s in store on Miles. The former is simply lush, filled to the brim with smooth melodies and hypnotizing vocals that hopes to get the message across to a lover that “I will keep you close, always”. Exploding with charismatic harmonies and a tight rhythm section, Canopy Climbers and their thoughtful approach to songwriting will have listeners imagining themselves as characters in the song. The latter single, “Stuck” becomes more of a pop-led release by upping its ante on the electronic notch. Continuing their unsurprising skill with catchy choruses, Canopy Climbers keep the momentum going with a droning beat to get foots tapping while showcasing a rich falsetto.

“I didn’t know that it was wrong until you couldn’t sing along.” Alongside the album’s tough singles however are tracks that hold up their own against Miles’ front-runners. The album’s title track takes listeners on a dreamy ride aboard the nautical themes lying throughout the hummable track, adding to the charm of the song. “Souvenir” is a love song even if the feelings are one-sided with the more alternative sounding “Melody” taking on more of a somber note. With its spooky “oohs” and “ahhs” on top of a darker beat carrying through the song, the lyrics take on a more despairing side than we’re used to so far on Miles.

What seems like it came out of left field, “Colonizer” drops almost all of the electronics for the basics— piano and guitar—and what is the longest track on the album definitely feels that way. The latter part of Miles certainly takes on a more Christian rock sound, feeling as it it were left off the band’s 2011 album Distances. They aim big with the building use of piano and the grand choir sound but fall short in expectation thanks to the impressive first half of Miles. Despite this, Miles is an album packed with tight melodies and vivid lyrics that will have listeners finding themselves singing days later.

Miles will be self-released on June 18, 2013.

Canopy Climbers is Cory Nelson, Alan Thomas, Nathan Miller.

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Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (Basically, she's a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.