Miles Nielsen has spent almost a decade spreading his unique brand of Western country rock with his pool of influences seeming to grow by the day. A man who never stops appreciating what’s surrounding him, Nielsen makes a point of surrounding himself with astonishing musicians and this comes to life in the form of Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts.
Ohbahoy is the latest release from this imaginative collective of artists and it’s a refreshing album that has carefully blended together scores of influential musicians and genres through the years and repurposed them into something that’s strikingly unique. As their album opens with Hands Up you absorb country styled bars and a rich rock sound but even after just a few nots it becomes apparent that this isn’t going to play out like you expect. The songs that have been crafted for this album are deep, personal and almost rejuvenating in their structure. Ohbahoy is an album that sits like an iceberg, only a small portion is available to you above the surface and the rest lays somewhere deeper underneath. There is a beautiful soul infusion that runs throughout the groups work, a soft and jarring tenderness in stark comparison to the jaunty rock melodies they are capable of producing.
The careful infusion of soul music into their work creates a charming and calming effect on the mind, their work becomes peaceful and warming, almost as though they are creating you a perfectly safe space. This warmth is something that is carried not only within their earnest and playful music but also in the rusted vocals of Nielsen himself. There is a deep and rumbling charismatic catch within his voice that seems to creak like trees in the wind. His every word comes across with a burning honesty and unabashed tenderness that flows perfectly with his soul-filled blend of country rock. What Miles Nielsen & The Rusted Hearts create isn’t just music or song, it’s genuine art and peace of mind. You cannot help but be completely absorbed by the beauty of songs such as Big 3 and as their lullaby stylings wash over you, you are taken deeper and deeper under that iceberg to witness what else they have underneath.
Ohbahoy, despite my own personal inability to pronounce it out loud, is a fantastic and mesmerising album that feels as though it locks in a thousand years of history as it fuses together genres and brings about a new atmosphere of sound. Their deep and heartfelt music is an invigorating rush that has the power to shape the way your day turns out.
Review by Joe Knipe