Songs for the Graveyard is Rascal Miles latest EP released in October 2020. This is a concept album that revolves around its undead and supernatural characters whose thoughts and emotions are juxtaposed into real-life experiences. All presented with a great deal of tenderness and humanity. Rascal Miles does this with heartfelt pop songwriting that dives into the viewpoint of these graveyard “monsters”. As a result each song cuts deep, with a balance of wit and vulnerability that never fades through its six tracks. You’d have to have a heart of stone to not develop any sympathy or see yourself in these songs. After all, which one of us hasn’t had a moment when we felt dead inside?
Opener “Zombie” got me sold on the whole thing from the first verse alone. Miles describes the zombie’s deadpan face devoid of color, its inability to speak anything clever or sweet and frames it with the social insecurities plaguing many of us today. With the line: “How can I prove to you / I’m not completely lifeless” wholly sold by the conviction in Rascal Miles’ haunting voice, leaving me with a shiver and a few tears.
The rest follows on a similar note, but each with a varied and distinctive theme. “Vampire” feels bouncy and fun with its acoustic guitar and preppy drums, but is haunted with a strong undercurrent of longing. A song about reaching out to others despite your shortcomings, and profusely promising that you won’t bite.
“Ghost” follows as the most atmospheric and heartbreaking song in the record. With solid background vocals and a solid string section, Miles sings about an ethereal creature longing for human affection.
Centerpiece “Imagination” is a standout track and serves as a breather. Filled with wondrous synths and a carousel-like swirling of keys and strings. This one takes us to a fantasy land where seemingly nothing can go wrong.
The EP ends on a moodier tone with “Werewolf” and “Skeleton”. The former is a piano-driven track with feel-good pop and folk beats while the latter is a chilling acoustic song on a rainy day. One that acts in contrast against Rascal Miles’ warm and soothing voice.
Songs from the Graveyard may come from the darker corners of our everyday experiences, but there’s humor and sympathy in confronting them through the lens of these undead mythical beings. Perhaps that’s why we’re so fond of them. Rascal Miles has crafted a great EP to connect with and accept our imperfections while boasting some stellar pop.