Band-to-band comparisons are a necessary evil in the universe of emerging acts. However, media outlets like NPR and Interview take a little of the sting out by making comparisons to Radiohead, Arcade Fire and Bon Iver.
“From a musician’s standpoint, you want to be your own thing and not necessarily compared to anyone,” said Kyle Wilson, Milagres’ lead singer and songwriter. “But people like to have a reference point, especially with those newer bands, so if we’re going to be compared to bands, those are definitely not-so-damn-frustrating ones to hear.” The Brooklyn-based quintet’s first proper album, “Glowing Mouth,” dropped this month, and the effort is making some noise. Wilson wasn’t thinking it would leave this sort of mark when he wrote most of the tracks while recovering from a back injury.
“We just wanted to make a beautiful album,” he said. “There were less boundaries. It was just a natural process. Three of the songs I wrote in one evening, if that tells you how smooth it went.”
If the organic, untamed feel of “Glowing Mouth” and its single, “Here to Stay,” recall something other than Milagres’ Empire City roots, it’s not a mistake; Wilson actually hails from New Mexico.
“I think of myself as someone who came out here to go to school and sort of got marooned here ever since,” he said. “If you look at the way music is in America, there’s a different vibe between artists who live in urban areas and don’t, and East Coast versus West. There’s exceptions to the rule, and our music sounds like a Westerner whose been captured by the East. I know for a fact if I lived in Oklahoma, I’d write very different music.”
Wilson’s background appears to be paying off so far. Milagres has embarked on one of its first true cross-country treks, with the first leg — including Monday’s stop in Norman — serving as support to fellow indie darling Peter Wolf Crier, which also released a new album this month.
With a healthy amount of buzz between the two, Milagres’ men hope to have the time of their lives. However, with kind words from music blogs and even kinder reviews, the horizon looks even brighter.
“We’re on the edge of our seats, seeing what this will be like,” Wilson said. “Before, even with people I knew, it was like, ‘Great, you’re in a band.’ Now, they are really starting to pay attention. Sometimes they just need someone else to tell them to.”
Photo by Cameron Wittig