5/11/17 – I Do Not Love. “Promises & Crosses” (2015)

I Do Not Love. (Gregory Miller) is a singer/producer from Mansfield, Massachusetts that is quite prolific yet criminally unknown. I initially came to know about him after his EP Flowers (2014) was released on Enemies List Home Recording. Promises & Crosses was released on the French label Beko, but he’s also released other music on his own through his bandcamp. His sound is very synth and vocal heavy, drawn out and dramatic, dark and catchy, and his voice is incredible. Miller sings with an impossibly deep voice similar to David Tibet’s on Beauty Reaps the Blood of Solitude (1994) which I reviewed here.

Promises opens the album with an endless cascade of bright and colorful synths, and more and more are added to the song before quickly fading away. I love how it’s such an attention grabber to get the album going. It leads into Tristes Tropiques which features the French singer Julie Mouchel, which obviously is the influence from Beko. As beautiful as this song is, it might be my least favorite because he’s not singing on it. If I had a look at the lyrics, that might change though. Try is when we finally get to hear him sing, as well as scream. It’s a shrill scream that I’m surprised comes from that same deep voice that comes after, and it’s not too abrasive or distracting. He sings in between the synths, fading in and out, echoing out in a ghostly manner. Try‘s high energy is seen again on Tiwfy, which has some of his catchiest melodies and danceable beats. You can say that about nearly all the tracks on this album though, it’s so consistent in it’s quality and tone that I never feel bored of his aesthetic.

His voice is so emotive and it really feels like he’s pouring out his soul on songs like Prying Out, Worth and Inhaler – some of the more intimate songs on the album. Speaking of Worth, it’s got one of my favorite moments on the album: a long sustained yell as the main hook comes in. Miller’s melancholy shines through even in more Pop-y songs like Driving By, and I really love the repetition of “because you’re bored”. Another highlight for me is the chorus of Every Night, sung amidst pulsing electronics:
“I can’t turn the other way
I can’t touch you go away
I can’t turn the other way
I can’t feel no other way
I can’t turn the other way
I can’t let you go…”

The whole album is dark and mysterious, and the clean and crisp production make this one to keep coming back to again and again. I’ve only recently been listening to I Do Not Love, but Promises & Crosses has been my favorite of his to re-listen to. It’s quite unique, but it fits so many moods of listening, and driving down the road at night has to be the best time to throw this on.

 

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