Indie Spotlight: Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson

At the age of 25, most people can’t say they’ve dropped out of college, lived on a park bench for months and released a full-length LP – but then again, Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson isn’t like most people. Now, after being dubbed “Brooklyn’s Best Kept Secret,” Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson is looking to get even bigger than his mouth-filling name.

Miles, originally from Oregon, moved to New York to attend NYU after turning down Yale and soon discovered his penchant for making music while using a recording studio at NYU. After his freshman year, Miles dropped out and went on a drug binge in New York City that left him with no money, plenty of stories and a willingness to write his ass off.

In the coming months, Miles moved from the NYU dorms to Long Island to sell drugs with a friend and eventually to the cozy benches in Coney Island. There, as he explained to Fader Magazine, “I was just rolling. I was having an epic summer.”

With no desire to go back home, Miles began recording his debut album with friend and producer Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear. The result? An ensemble of somber-yet-catchy tracks with reflective and oft-depressing lyrics.

On the opening track, “Buriedfed,” Miles kick-starts the somber mood by singing, “A friend of mine drank something fine/Choked to death before his time last night/He said ‘found that thing you really need’/Come on now, you can’t breathe alright.” On the next track, “The Debtor,” Miles also brings up another gloomy conundrum, “Not sure that I want to stay alive/So expensive, but you can’t die.”

Miles’ entire debut is ultimately one that’s set against gut-wrenching cords and features the overwhelming voice of a deeply damaged boy. By tackling issues like lost love, struggle with commitment, losing loved ones and a battle with one’s own self-esteem issues, Miles does an amazing job of taking his feelings and translating them so as to make them universal.

While embarking on the journey through the album, negative and dark emotions often stir, and he described the process to Fader by simply saying “When you dig up dirt, things get dirty.”

Though Miles performs almost exclusively in his hometown of Brooklyn at the moment, he’ll hopefully be traveling the country to bring his style to the masses outside of the hipster haven of Williamsburg.

Check out his self-titled debut, out now on Say Hey Records, and look for his upcoming album Summer of Fear, which has already been recorded and mixed by TV on the Radio’s Kyp Malone.

Miles Benjamin Anthony Robinson Essentials: “Buriedfed,” “The Debtor,” “My Good Luck” and “The Ongoing Debate Re: Present Vs. Future.”

September 28, 2008


Dan Buyanovsky

Senior Writer

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