Friday, September 6, 2013

Devil's Advocate

Dan Miraldi has come a long way since recording his first album, Thirsty, in a living-room-turned recording-studio in 2009. The Cleveland singer-songwriter has graduated to laying down tracks at Undertow & Loud Studios with Grammy nominee Chris Grainger (Wilco, Switchfoot) in Nashville for his upcoming EP, Devil At Our Heels. “I feel like I’ve improved as a singer and as an arranger," Miraldi says. " I’ve had different opportunities to work with various producers and recording engineers, and each time, we learn new tricks."

Dan Miraldi and the Albino Winos will play a release show at 9 p.m. Sept. 7 at Mahall’s 20 Lanes. Devil at Our Heels will be available online Sept. 10. “I would describe it as a pop-rock album that embraces a lot of music of the past, everything from the Beatles to early punk ... but is footed in the present,” says Miraldi of his new EP. Miraldi talks to us about what inspired the new EP, growing as a songwriter and his favorite local bands.

Cleveland Magazine: What inspired Devil At Our Heels?
Dan Miraldi: I wanted to have an EP that connected with last year’s Sugar and Adrenaline, and I wanted to somehow draw upon some of the motifs that you would hear in that record. The song “Lovebomb!” comes from a few years back. I was having a bad day, I had done poorly on a test and was just in a particularly bad mood, and I felt the need to write a song to cheer myself up. I tried to summon the most happy-sounding melody I could think of. That’s what made “Lovebomb!”

CM: How does Devil At Our Heels differ from your previous recordings?
DM: I think the track that has the greatest differentiation is the second song, “Girl, You Made Your Mark.” Where as the darkness might just have been in the lyrical references, this time you actually get some of that in the instrumentation. My overall goal was to make something that showed growth. The song “Devil at Our Heels” is a work of fiction because I’ve never really been running from the law. I’ve pulled from personal experiences, but I’ve also found ways to write from different perspectives  to now be able to write songs about outlaws instead of just writing songs about girls.

CM: What are some of your favorite bands in Cleveland?
DM: Offhand, I’m a big fan of Thaddeus Anna Greene and also the Modern Electric. I think Brent Kirby is very talented, and Attack Cat. And Oldboy  they’re playing with us [at Mahall’s], and they’re a great band. There is a lot of great music out there.

Watch Dan Miraldi and the Albino Winos' just-released, official music video for "Untame," the first single off  Devil At Our Heels

For more about Miraldi's music, read our article "New Directions" about his Rock N Roll Band! EP and our review of his last full-length album, Sugar and Adrenaline

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