Conor Miley at the Sunflower
Doors: 8pm Price: £10
Multi-instrumentalist indie Conor Miley continues a national tour following the release of his debut solo album, Thousand Yard Stare. Support on the night comes from Bedside Community.
Across 11 complex and emotional songs Thousand Yard Stare explores themes of love, loss, heartbreak, hope and life as a single parent in Ireland in the 21st century, drawing influences from indie, folk, electronic, gospel and much more.
The album arrives after three well received singles (‘Father’s Day’, ‘Thousand Yard Stare’ and ‘Lost Honeybee’) were released over the course of 2023. Each single was accompanied by striking and much lauded videos directed by Michael-David McKernan.
The production on the album is epic in scale. With blueprints written on either the guitar or piano, Conor set about turning his house into an impromptu recording studio during the lockdown and painstakingly developed and arranged each song.
Listening to the record, and in particular the gospel-tinged title track, you can understand the enormity of the project for the solo artist. Miley played and sung all parts with the album being recorded over the course of a year. He then wrote and arranged the string, brass and drum parts which were later recorded by Christian Best (Mick Flannery) in Monique Studios in Cork.
Over one hundred friends and family contributed through WhatsApp voice notes to a line on ‘Slowly, I Return’, the opening track. A voice note recording of Conor’s son as a baby in addition to a recording of him as a 2 year old issue in the final song, Paean, and the album concludes with a distant conversation between father and son.
Well-honed and perfectly seasoned, Thousand Yard Stare is one of those rare debuts that come along every once in while that demand attention. It is an emotive collection of songs delivered with fervorous craftsmanship.