Louisville’s “Delightfully menacing” (Baeble Music) Chief Ghoul shares his sixth album, These Lycanthropic Blues, out now. Lee Miles self-produced this record, along with all of his previous releases. Music as therapy has always been an underlying theme of Miles’ songwriting, and the autonomy of self-producing has made the sound of the record even more personal, vulnerable and true to his old-soul. Guitar-playing has been an impulse and necessity when times are tough, and it’s obvious that his guitar playing up levels with every release — hinting that life doesn’t get easier, but the therapy is working.
A gut instinct to connect to the deeper parts of his subconscious come through the strings and the wildness of the sound. A deeper, darker path lays ahead, but the catharsis builds along with the blackness. The intimacy of getting to know what plagues Miles deepens to the bond, and although he always says he makes this music for himself — it’s hard not to feel connected and relate.
The last single, “The Blackest of Souls” arrived along with a spooky, sultry and shadowy new video. As the first visual to accompany These Lycanthropic Blues, “The Blackest of Souls” video is ripe with allegory. Like something out of “Grimm’s Fairy Tales,” the story ends with Chief Ghoul unveiling who the real monster is.
Describing the song, Lee Miles says, “The Blackest of Souls” is my ode to the Stoner Rock genre. It’s inspired by all of the deadly sins and completely surrendering to them… completely disregarding the concept of “sin” altogether.” This motif of self-acceptance by inviting all parts of one’s soul — even the blackest parts — is a major theme on the upcoming album.
“I’ll Be There,” the previously released single, showed a different side of Chief Ghoul — still haunted, but in a way that makes room for light by accepting darkness. Describing the song, Lee Miles says, “‘I’ll Be There” is a sort of love song. Imagery and vibes in my head are those of classic gothic literature like Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. Lyrically, I wanted to compare and contrast mundane issues with apocalyptic events.”
The new album’s first and aptly named single, “Let’s Go.” With its upbeat tempo and darkly poetic lyrics, it’s clear that Miles has returned to the spirit that previously landed him on the cover of Performer Magazine, where he was quoted saying, “When you get discouraged, use it and don’t let it defeat you. Don’t let it overwhelm you to the point where you don’t do anything at all.” Pain is one hell of a motivator and Miles haunts with purpose and raw power, using elements of alt-country, folk, rock and blues to craft a sound that is “a truly special sound,” according to Performer Magazine. Check out These Lycanthropic Blues, streaming everywhere now, and see what lyrics stick to the soul.