Tow’rs – Grey Fidelity
Tow’rs is a five piece outfit hailing from the Flagstaff, Arizona area specializing in deeply intimate and exquisitely written songwriting. The husband and wife partnership of Kyle and Gretta Miller are the heart of the band and the poetic qualities of their music are an ideal platform for exploring themes of redemption, perseverance, and enduring hope. This isn’t, however, music experienced through rose colored glasses. The band’s latest release, Grey Fidelity, is instead a profoundly artistic and credible walk through life as it is lived, not as we might like it to be. The production renders their interesting textures and smooth delivery with just the right amount of atmosphere and structure. The album is relatively brief by modern standards with only nine songs, but these nine cuts are breathtaking embodiments of their considerable talents. This is a release to be heard by anyone interested in daring and melodically strong songwriting.
“Girl in Calico” opens with swelling, ambient guitar work before a clear melody emerges. The guitar playing leads into the song quite gracefully and Kyle Miller’s voice resonates with intense engagement and an attentive ear. His voice is perfectly tailored for this sort of material – it never has to strain for effect and he imbues the lyrical content with just the right amount of emotional heft. The Millers hit a sweet vocal note with the song “Revere” and the airy accompaniment leaves plenty of room for this wafting song to breathe. The recurring bass pulse and light percussion set an ideal tone for the track and the occasional inclusion of mournful violin gives it a slightly elegiac quality. “Gold Parade” begins in a very deliberate fashion and Gretta Miller’s dominant vocals receive excellent, understated support from her husband’s voice. The tempo eventually picks up, only slightly, and they carry off a muted mid-tempo bounce with enchanting stylishness.
“Liminal” has light country music feel and a quasi-shuffle beat that finds its mark from the first. Kyle Miller’s vocals on this song are often solo and his ability for investing emotion in the lyric with a minimal amount of volume sets him apart from many contemporary singers. There are a number of inventive musical touches that come along the way as well. The waltz tempo of “When I’m Silent” is a great setting for the band to show off their mastery of fundamentals and the performance doesn’t disappoint. The languid unwinding of the song is squarely at odds with its experience; though the reflections come with a degree of tranquility, there’s a darkness chewing along the edges of this the song acknowledges. The album closer “Revelator Man” has a title referencing a term both Christian inclined listeners and even blues fans will readily recognize. It’s one of the album’s best songs and has the customary strong suggestion of the personal accompanying all of their music. It ends Grey Fidelity on a rousing note. Tow’rs is a band with an unquestionably unique sonic and lyrical identity. They conclusive prove that some of our best music is still born from a sense of togetherness and community with much more than a smile and outstretched hand. This is music lived in, tested by time, and speaking about eternal verities.
9 out of 10 stars