After years of making old-time swing with his big band the Bridge City Crooners and touring the country, Jacob Miller decided to strip his music down to its bare essentials, going solo and releasing a three-track folk pop EP, Lifted (listen below), in late 2017.
He's been hard at work on new music since, and this year will see Miller share a full-length solo record in June. "'Cut My Teeth' is the first single off my upcoming debut, This New Home," he shares.
"It is a song about losing someone very close, and coping with that loss. Often these shifts seem to be an abrupt change that can be paralyzing in ways. The sentiment behind this song is acknowledging those seemingly impossible hurdles, and attempting to find a silver lining moving forward."
The loss that inspired "Cut Your Teeth"—both the song and its accompanying video—was a very real one from Miller's childhood. "I edited the video footage myself, all of which was captured by my father in early '90s Wisconsin. My dad passed when I was 5, and afterwards my family no longer used the camera. A few years ago, my mom compiled and converted all the videos to digital and gifted them to me and my sisters. Revisiting them, the footage is stupid and sweet and candid. It reflects on the loss of my father, but also the joy we shared as well as some kind of hope for the future."
The recording of this song and the impending This New Home started last January and "spanned the course of the last year," Miller tells. "I self-recorded the entire record in a small, SE Portland home on Woodstock Boulevard. Ryan Oxford [who's worked with Y La Bamba, Nick Delffs and Like a Villain] engineered at Color Therapy Recording in PDX. Zachary Dyke mixed in Nashville, Tenn., and Timothy Stollenwerk mastered the song at Stereophonic Mastering here in Portland." It also features Zach Banks on cello and Viet Block on violin, with string arrangements written by Charlie Porter.