'Kill The Lights' by Micah Faulkner is a short, laidback brushstroke of an extended play, but like a hawk in view of its prey, it seizes its vantage point over the contemporary alternative music dominion.
Los Angeles artist Micah Faulkner operates in the tradition of mystic, rustic songwriting with a modern twist upholstered by his acoustic guitar.
Unlike his more extravagant production-based peers, Micah's intention is to stay in the center view of his pieces.
In 'Kill The Lights,' his defining character holds combined stock in melody-forward hooks, a new age-leaning psychedelic feel, and some infectious sense of unwinding and resolve. More than his unnerving dexterity on the guitar, Micah manifests himself most beautifully through subtle contributory details: his guitar solos, the way he places his harmonies in the mixdown, and how each song seems to fade into one another.
'Kill the Lights' supplies some comprehension into the gloom Micah might have encountered in the past; he muses about self-evolution, and profound transformation, with sophisticated melancholy. Through the album's short but satisfying playtime, Micah appears effortless with his tone in the world he has created and the character he has developed: "Woke up today, somewhere on the wrong side of me," he sings strikingly in "Plans," surveying over his future before immersing us into it his intrinsic guitar work.
The instrumentals in the songs come with supporting features: the title track "Kill The Lights" with an organic piano, "I can't breath" with earthy drums, and "F*cked Up" near the middle with its celestial electric guitar. Their masterful incorporation into Micah's framework gives the album anecdotal propulsion, and his performances complement the movement of this record in every transition.
The quality is authoritative and adventurous, pulsing yet subtle. Hearing Micah Faulkner's work is like the sensation of strolling barefoot in your backyard garden over your dewy lawn. Here, Micah encourages a deeper reflective mindset, granting his pieces a consecrated spirit. When a blazing guitar solo erupts during the crescendo of "Never Too Late," it articulates effortlessly, succeeding one of the album's most introspective stanzas. Micah buzzes with consuming cantors, as the music marches adjacent to the Jackson Mississippi native.
Even at their most poignant, his verses aim to soothe as they seldom settle too long-drawn on one hue and thin chords. Between all his soul-searching, Micah uncovers hope and optimism. The adjourning "Kill The Lights," conducts gentle background harmonies, with a sweeping likeness to an angelic hymn: The lyrics turn hopeful, the intimacy of the guitar settles healthy on your ears as the strings shrill against Micah's fingertips. "Kill the lights, can I get one more chance, and do this all over," he resounds. It's a sentiment that might befall you when the trajectory of life feels like it could use some redacting, and it's a seemly nonchalant ending to a record carefully brewed in patience and peace— two things that seem to pass just over our heads each and every day sometimes.
Discover "Kill the Lights" here.
Hello Micah, welcome to BuzzMusic. When did you know the direction you wanted this record to flow in and the specific textures and themes you wanted to highlight throughout it?
I had been writing a bunch of songs since back in October 2019 with a possible Album/EP in mind and started to piece my favorites together at the end of February and then COVID-19 happened and everything shut down. Near the end of March had to leave Los Angeles and be in Nashville for a family emergency. Everything is okay thank god. Flew back to LA middle of April and out of nowhere started writing nonstop. Wrote five new songs over the next few weeks and by the end of May. I had five songs that I think we're meant to work together. And that is the (Kill The Lights) EP. It was crazy they are in the order of when they were written on the EP. Just felt like it flowed the best that way.
Where does your songwriting process start? Is it in your D.A.W, on the guitar, or maybe even with a rhythm in mind?
Elliott Smith is a big influence and we tried to capture the vibe of his "Either Or" album the way recorded Guitars and Vocals. My friend and great Producer Rhett Fisher produced and engineered the EP.
What typically stimulates your creative energy to write so much music?
The process always starts with an acoustic guitar.
Is there something you can attribute to your love of music from an early age? What can you remember being your first musical moments?
I grew up an Elvis and Willie Nelson, my Dad was a huge fan. There was always great music being played or very easy to access. My siblings and I probably scratched up and ruined a lot of records in our day.
Thank you for being here with us. What are your plans for the rest of the year to promote yourself? Many independent artists have been working on streaming their live shows recently, has this every been something you have planned on doing?
Yes, I would love to stream some live performances. Some solo acoustic shows. And with a band would be amazing.