Locals: Miranova keeps things moving on Idle - musically, at least
OnIdle, the debut full-length from scrappy garage quartet Miranova, singer and guitarist Alex Douglas frequently finds himself spinning in place even as the music surges forward.
"I know I'm a puzzle piece/ Just one of the menagerie," he sings on "Adultz." "Wondering where's the fit for me/ Where I can blend in seamlessly."
"When you get to be an adult, you have to take a look at where you're at and wonder if it's really what you're supposed to be doing," said Douglas, 28, who joins bandmates Jack O'Connell (guitar), Adam Hardy (bass) and Randal Detweiler (drums) for a record release show at Ace of Cups on Friday, April 29. "It's hard to identify who you are, even once you get to your late 20s, and I never anticipated it would be that difficult to figure out. I guess I'm having this moment of trying to decide if this is the direction I want to go in my life."
The music hasn't provided any answers to this point - "Maybe that'll come with the next record," Douglas said, and laughed - but it has provided the frontman an outlet for these accumulated anxieties, which tend to bleed into his words (throughout Douglas struggles with finding his place and keeping up his end of the bargain) and the music, fueling an assortment of cranky, fuzzed-out guitar riffs that function as a pressure release valve.
While Douglas has been a longtime presence in the local music scene - the guitarist has been playing with She Bears for nearly a decade and works as a sound engineer at Relay Recording - he never envisioned fronting his own band. This started to change during a fall 2014 trip to New York when he finally played a handful of solo acoustic songs for a friend.
"And he was really into it," said Douglas, who started playing guitar at age 13, inspired by classic rockers like Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. "He sort of negated the anxiety [I had], and validated they were worth showing to people."
Though written in solitude, Douglas realized his songs demanded to be heard in louder, more fleshed out form. "A lot of my songs … are about anxiety or frustration, and I feel that's the best platform for it: something heavier or more distorted," he said, pointing to the likes of Titus Andronicus and the Thermals as particular sources of inspiration.
At its core, however, Miranova's music is driven as much by its familiarity as its guitar feedback, with certain passages suggesting a dialogue between close friends - and with good reason.
"Some of the lines in the songs are ripped from conversations I had with people," Douglas said. "I like when you can relate to how an artist is feeling through their lyrics, or when they admit certain things about themselves. That's a really important thing I look for in the music I like to listen to: I like to identify with it."
Ace of Cups
9:30 p.m. Friday,
2619 N. High St.,
Also playing: Van Dale, The Pools