A Black Mile to the Surface, vocalist Andy Hull and crew returned to the studio with a more intimate album in mind than its hard-hitting predecessor, 2013’s Cope. Where Cope was, in Hull’s own words, “brutal and pounding you over the head on every track,” A Black Mile finds its strength in its harmonies and lyricism, which explore marriage, fatherhood and all things familial. But becoming a husband and dad hasn’t robbed Hull of his metaphorical leanings, and A Black Mile is brimming with symbolism and imagery, stemming mostly from the real-life mining town of Lead, South Dakota. They say being a parent changes you, and it seems to have changed Andy Hull for the better. His latest record shows the 30-year-old maturing to his best self so far — both sonically and vocally. And he’ll be the first to tell you the best is yet to come.
Barely a month removed from the release of their fifth studio album, Manchester Orchestra will return to Houston’s House of Blues (weather permitting) in support of their most ambitious record to date. For