The influences are fairly obvious on Canadian singer/songwriter Lynn Miles' latest album Night In a Strange Town-- you hear everyone from Shawn Colvin to Joni Mitchell to Carole King from song to song.
But what saves Miles from slipping into the usual cop-a-style singer/songwriter is the writing. Cleverly constructed, the songs are Pop-based but don't offer the expected structures and melodies. The tracks range from sparse and acoustic-based to full-band (especially effective on the broad, majestic "The One You're Waiting For"), but throughout what you get are memorable, stylish tunes with a creative bent. If songs like the strutting, haunted "Sunset Blvd." ever got the proper radio play, Miles could be the next female troubadour to burst through to the mainstream. Subtle, for sure, but wildly potent and sure to be a revelation to fans of the craftier performers of the genre.
At Southgate House on Thursday.