Tor Miller became obsessed by music aged 12 when his family uprooted from Manhattan to upstate New York, leaving him feeling friendless and isolated. By his early teens he was studying piano, writing and performing his own songs, eventually securing a place to study music at the prestigious Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music back his beloved New York. Once there, Miller would spent late nights paying his dues in the piano bars of the lower-east side, where he was spotted by Glassnote Records – home to artists such as Mumford & Sons, Phoenix, Childish Gambino and Chvrches – a label with a long history of finding and nurturing talent.
Glassnote gave Miller and his songs the time and space to breathe and develop, letting him put together a band and tour with them several times before heading to the studio to record the album. Consequently, ‘American English’ is a staggeringly accomplished debut. There’s bold and grandiose (‘Surrender’), there’s pop with a range of colour (‘Carter & Cash’, ‘Always’), and there’s hushed and beautiful (‘Baby Blue’). Despite the album’s variations in tone and pace, Miller has kept a sonic thread throughout that keeps it from being a mish-mash of ideas. His music has soul, and his performance has a range, depth and scale.