Americana/Rock sensations the Gary Douglas Band return with yet another stunning slice of Americana incarnate in the all-new single “Million Miles Away,” out now everywhere that independent country music is sold and steamed. Douglas doesn’t placate us with any of the banally dreary lyrics that have become so commonplace in modern country ballads here; from the first verse all the way through to the song’s conclusion, his candid prose and homespun poetry makes it obvious that he’s invested in the content of his words. The music has a familiar folksiness to it that is warm and inviting, but the arrangement of the instruments is anything but old school. Douglas is really on top of his game, and this is among his band’s best work yet.
YOU TUBE: www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9_uHKMSZDM
The beat that ensnares us in the glowing harmonies of “Million Miles Away” swings pretty hard, but it’s understated in the grander scheme of things. Next to Douglas’ vocal track, the percussion is somewhat muted, giving off a chilling echo with every pulsating crash of cymbals that lasts well into the next verse. The string play is really prominent here, but without question, the piano is the primary source of melodic color in this single. Douglas cultivates a really immaculate relationship with the keys in the opening stanza that slowly matures into an all-out symphony before the song ceases to play, and while the lyrics tell a boldly vivid story in their own right, there’s just as much to be said about the hypnotic instrumental elements that make this track the star that it is.
In the lyric video for “Million Miles Away,” dreamscapes are intercut with cinematic shots taken from nature and roaring concerts, and it lives up to the high standard of engagement set by its source material. While the visual components inarguably add an additional texture to the song, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it changes the narrative of the material or minimizes the impact of the arrangement in the least (a frequent problem among videos of this persuasion). Gary Douglas didn’t just piece together a handful of hokey pictures for a backdrop and splice in the words from his latest hit here; he actually forms a compelling visual experience to complement the music that inspired it.
Poetic, introspective and full of an honest yearning that has been absent from the bulk of new country singles that 2019 has seen thus far, “Million Miles Away” represents a new milestone of emotionality for the discography of the Gary Douglas Band. There’s nothing getting between us and Douglas in this song; there are only brooding piano keys, wistful melodies and confessional verses that are as accessible as they are personal and steeped in humility. This has the potential to be one of his biggest crossover singles so far, and if you ask me, it shows off a side of his personality that is potently relatable to put it mildly. Douglas is firing on all cylinders in “Million Miles Away,” and as a country fan, I’m very pleased with the results of his labor.