To properly tell the story of Americana, one needs but two instruments – a voice, and a guitar, both of which Pete Miller utilizes quite brilliantly in his rookie outing “A Light out There.” Miller knows that after bringing these two components together, his next step is to give us personal lyrics that illustrate his character against the backdrop of a timeless aesthetic. What results in his efforts is nothing short of engaging, and it’s one of the more exciting and endearing releases I’ve heard from an unknown player in or outside of the American underground this spring. 

Introspection is the biggest lyrical theme in this single, and it comes to us not only in the form of the lyrics but in the way that Miller is presenting them to us. His drawl is relaxed, and there’s never a moment where it sounds like he’s rushing to keep up with the vitality of his own strings. If anything, his confidence reinforces the legitimacy of his verses, which is something I’ve personally heard a lot of his peers struggling to do when making content as stripped down as “A Light out There” is. 

This mix provides us with a ghostly depth behind the harmonies that seem to trail on for an infinity, but the negative space isn’t such an agent of contrast as to distract us from the bread and butter of this single – the melodicism itself. Miller is a singer who can belt out a verse when he wants to, but he doesn’t need to get excessive with his skills in “A Light out There;” truthfully, it sounds a lot better because of how conservatively he’s attacking the arrangement. It’s a feat I’d like others to imitate, though I don’t see more than a few being more successful than this player is here. 

Unintentionally surreal and a lot more inviting than some of the other rookie releases I’ve heard lately, Pete Miller’s “A Light out There” gives us a good glimpse into who he might become and what sort of music he might make if given the right channels to reach his audience. He’s got a lot of rivals on either side of the dial at the moment, but the moxie he’s presenting his sound with in this debut speaks to his motivation to be heard. I’m game for more music in the way of “A Light out There,” but I think this is just the start of Miller’s growth. 

Garth Thomas