Louis Miller “Drop on the Leaf”
Lush but not quite atmospheric, the instrumental fabric Louis Miller sketches his poetic illustrations upon in the new single “Drop on the Leaf” is reason enough to give this song a close inspection this fall, but truth be told, it’s not the only component of the track I’d refer to as sonic gold. There’s so much Miller is trying to get done here that it’s actually kind of startling how much he was able to accomplish; the flow is furious, the beat is ice cold and the bassline is white-hot, touching on old school influences while remaining planted in a millennial melodic approach beyond debate. “Drop on the Leaf” is not the only song of its kind in this man’s discography, but I think it should be considered his most mature by far (and that’s no small statement in itself).
As good a rapper as Miller is, the vocal harmonies he constructs in the midsection of this track make me want to hear more melodic content from him in the future. There’s never a moment in which he sounds like he’s having to filter anything through software just to make a heavy-hitting sound – actually, I think that kind of stuff would have got in his way for a performance like this one. There’s no stopping quality talent when it’s off and running, and with no one in the studio to stifle his creative thinking, this is an artist who blossoms under the pressure of a goliath groove and not any of the synthetics his peers love to utilize so liberally.
I normally would have preferred just a little more volume on the percussion than this track sees, but I like the concept Miller was trying to implement here just the same. There’s something to the whole ‘less is more’ thing that he’s producing on another level here – as subtle and clandestine as the instrumental features are, they lend enough authenticity to the lyrics that we don’t need a lot of extra moxie from the vocal, that allows for a lot improvisation in a live setting and multi-interpretation for the fans listening to this single at home, and for most artists in any genre of music, these are as big a wins as could be asked for.
“Drop on the Leaf” is a really interesting track that has my full attention at the moment this December, and if it becomes the basis for an LP from Louis Miller, the American underground is going to be a lot better off for it. Miller doesn’t have to stunt with a lot of absurdly cinematic verses here, and even though he could have gone brash with his execution, he wears the melodic look so well that I almost want him to do a couple of soul covers just for the heck of it. Privileged is a person who gets to experience sophisticated harmonies steeped in organic qualities and little to no synthesized nonsense in 2020, and to join this elite group, all you need to do is pick up a copy of “Drop on the Leaf” as soon as possible.