“Living in my hometown / It’s too late to leave / Feels like a tidal wave has come / Crashing down on me / And I’m kicking up the dirt / Shuffling through the leaves / I tossed away the roses / That you laid down at my feet / Trash the freedom / Of the delicate dream / Just waiting for my midnight companion / To come bring me sleep.”
Following the release of her highly-acclaimed sophomore “Big Hair Small City” album last July, Lethbridge, AB alt-country artist Shaela Miller is excited to share “Tidal Wave,” her first single and video release for 2022, which we are delighted to premiere here at GDW. But do not be fooled into believing this to be simply a subsequent single release of an album track – because you would be wrong. No, Miller is instead giving us fans a bonus standalone tune that ‘could’ have appeared on “Big Hair Small City,” but was craftily saved for a future rainy day.
“Permanent changes / Nothing’s quite as it seems / Kaleidoscope memories of a fire / That burns within me / Percolate the teardrops / To bring serenity / Inspiration comes as it goes / Leaving me naked on my knees.”
Reminding us once more of her bold, distinctive old-country sound and charm, “Tidal Wave” offers the listener an in-depth confession of realizations and struggles of the heart, and more importantly, the feeling of drowning in the staggering, multi-dimensional responsibilities of life. “Tidal Wave was recorded during our album recording session in February 2021 at the Rebeltone Ranch with engineer Scott Franchuk. The album was going to be eleven tracks, but I cut Tidal Wave in the end because I felt like the song stood on its own,” Shaela recalls. “I decided to save it, and in November 2021, I went up to Edmonton to Riverdale Recorders to work again with Scott. We changed the bass line and added some low droning synthesizers, giving it a little more of a cosmic country vibe.”
“Angular heartache / Makes it hard to breathe / The harvest rain pours down / A flash flood fills up the streets / Of my home town / It’s too late to leave / Feels like a tidal wave has come / Crashing down on me / Down on me.”
The video offers a unique mix of studio footage and animation – where guitars quickly become surfboards, and fish jump from the water, even tossing a “Big Hair” statement towards Miller at one point. Created by Aaron Trozzo (Bird Media Boutique), and choreographed by Tara Jean Popowich (Carly Rae Jepsen), there is such an interesting juxtaposition to witness here – the video by design being fun and refreshing, yet Shaela’s refusal to look directly into the camera displays her vulnerability, as she is every part the pain and heartache she sings so eloquently about. Her eyes seek refuge elsewhere, never willing to meet those of the viewer, at least until the closing moment when, finally, in a nod to old cinema noir, Shaela emerges from the shadows to center-screen, her face now focused on ours, seeking consolation and the warmth of a trusted friend or loved one.
“In my bed / Where I lay / In my head / Won’t you come stay.”
Photo Credit: Bleu Baker