Tell Your Friends To Get With My Friends: Blake Mills Taps Fionna Apple and Jon Brion For New Single

Like Greg Maddux, Will Schube stresses control over velocity Something weird happened to Blake Mills between the release of his criminally underrated debut Break Mirrors and now. Mirrors was released...
By    July 28, 2014

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Like Greg Maddux, Will Schube stresses control over velocity

Something weird happened to Blake Mills between the release of his criminally underrated debut Break Mirrors and now. Mirrors was released to little fanfare—his now-solo voice likely buried beneath the buzz created by his former bandmates in Dawes. That was four years ago, and in the interim, Mills hasn’t done much in terms of solo music. Those who know him have always been quick to mention his superb guitar playing—having backed everyone from Julian Casablancas to Kid Rock—but remarkably little is said about Break Mirrors. He spent a nice chunk of 2013 touring as a duo with Fiona Apple (a show I’m still angry about missing), and now—finally—it seems like Mills is ready to bask in praise that should have been hurled his way half a decade ago.

His follow-up to Mirrors, titled Heigh Ho, is coming in September and our first listen is in the form of single “Don’t Tell Our Friends About Me.” His acoustic guitar is crunchy, the delicate drums accentuate and flourish when called upon, and Fiona Apple’s voice is perfectly placed (subtly and sparingly, too). It’s sometimes helpful to analyze a musician based on who he/she’s revered by/collaborates with, and Mills seems to be in tremendous company with “your favorite musician’s favorite producer” Jon Brion helping out on the track alongside the notoriously fickle Apple.

“Don’t Tell Our Friends” has a country twinge—a slippery slope that Mills navigates perfectly (the difference between good country and bad country seems to lie on this border between raw emotion and over-sentimentality). When Mills is at his best, he’s able to meld his virtuosic guitar playing with simpler songwriting tendencies. The results are never explosive, but often yield tracks that ebb and flow, push and pull; the stuff that sticks.



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