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Show Review

We had an absolute blast a few months back at SXSW in Austin, where we actually had our very own stage, the Baeble Bounce House (great name, we know) that featured some of the most talented rising artists and bands out there today. One of those artists that we filmed for all of you who couldn't make it to Austin was Tor Miller, a New York-based singer who brought the house down with his smooth soul and powerhouse vocals. Miller has been gaining some major traction since the release of his debut EP Headlights last year, and he is currently prepping the release of his debut record American English, out September 30.

Miller showed off his chops with some songs from Headlights plus a couple previews for American English. With an infectious voice, a sound with plenty of soul and swagger, and lyrics all about growing up with the crust punks and back alleys of New York city, Miller and his backing band deliver a unique sound that is reminiscent of 1960s soul, Frank Sinatra, and Billy Joel all at the same time. Miller sure made our little stage in Austin feel like a smoky New York jazz and soul club from the 70s, and you'll be popping your head within the first minute of this solid set.

Transcript

Jeff Buckley's Grace was playing loud as hell in the back of an old dive bar So I step outside and light a cigarette Take in the fumes of the passing cars Loud angry drunks and a few crust punks fill every crevice of Saint Marks Some things have changed since back then but the streets are still so hard In the lonely hour of midnight when New York City's lying wide awake Under the glow of the street light while I feel the rumble that the concrete makes And I might hail a cab down right through the Holland to the interstate And my soul reignite in the lonely hour of midnight Two lovers falling in each other's arms stumbling on down the high-line Up on the bridge there's a broken heart screaming to his valentine Two sunken eyes at the corner shop trying to get a Lucy for a dime The needle drops and the vinyl turns I'm going to burn this one right In the lonely hour of midnight when New York City's lying wide awake Under the glow of the street light while I feel the rumble that the concrete makes And I might hail a cab down right through the Holland to the interstate And my soul reignite in the lonely hour of midnight
Calling out for something Calling out for something true Calling out for something Calling out for something true Calling out for something Calling out for something true In the lonely hour of midnight when New York City's lying wide awake Under the glow of the street light while I feel the rumble that the concrete makes In the lonely hour of midnight when New York City's lying wide awake Under the glow of the street light while I feel the rumble that the concrete makes And I might hail a cab down right through the Holland to the interstate And my soul reignite in the lonely hour of midnight And my soul reignite in the lonely hour of midnight
Thank you very much, I'm Tor Miller, we come from New York City.
Now and again I'll be thinking about you It will cross through my head There's nothing I can do And I wonder if you're going out Or if you're staying home instead Am I just being paranoid? Is it all in my head? And now I'm telling myself I should give it up And get off before the end of line Am I kidding myself I will live it up If I could only get you out of my mind I'd make the calls with it all If I really wanted you And you'd throw your pride to the side If that's what you gotta do And we could have it all if we really wanted to If we really wanted to And every day I'm living in this deja vu Feels the pain of punching in and then punching through And I'm tired of this shit I gotta do I'd rather stay home instead And ditch the 9 to 5 to be with you and I'd be asleep in my bed I'd make the calls with it all If I really wanted you And you'd throw your pride to the side If that's what you gotta do And we could have it all if we really wanted to I can't stop Get you outta of my head And I'm wishing there were times where I would have said That I think about you And I want you so bad Oh I think about you I can't stop Get you out of my head And I am wishing there were times where I would have said That I think about you And I want you so bad Oh I think about you And I'd make the calls with it all If I really wanted you And you'd throw your pride to the side If that's what you gotta do And we could have it all if we really wanted to If we really wanted to
Thank you very much.
In New York City we have these kids that hang about which we call crust punks.
And crust punks essentially are trust fund kids who come and they just pretend to be homeless in New York City.
And just get fucked up and smell like shit.
But I love them.
I love them.
And so I wrote this song about them.
This is a song called "Crust Punk Queen.
" Hope you like it.
You are into the wild always a wild child Most of their lives is too calm and mild No structured living No plans to walk down the aisle Parents wish for college Though you'd think they're in denial They wouldn't vote you queen of the homecoming Though you didn't really want to be Counseling Pushed you over, send you packing Crust punk queen Left mom and dad when you were 17 Tore up those jet black jeans Hopped on a train into a troubled scene With all the trust fund drug fiends Who don't care about the Don't seem to care about the American dream Who don't care about the American dream From my own prison I hear my stomach grumble My father's footsteps are so far apart They're like a stumble I see who walks upon the cracks of the concrete jungle I wish I could just fall apart so you would help me crumble They wouldn't vote you queen of the homecoming Though you didn't really want to be Counseling Pushed you over, send you packing Crust punk queen Left mom and dad when you were 17 And tore up those jet black jeans Hopped on a train into a troubled scene With all the trust fund drug fiends Who don't care about the Don't seem to care about the American dream Who don't care about the Don't seem to care about the American dream Who don't care about the American dream Mom and dad this little hell which hangs over my head And I know it's gonna shimmer us again Mom and dad I need a little more money to get by And I promise that the shit is gonna end And when the fog clears look in my eyes I'll be coming home once again Crust punk queen Left mom and dad when you were 17 And tore up those jet black jeans Hopped on a train into a troubled scene With all the trust fund drug fiends Who don't care about the Don't seem to care about the American dream Who don't care about the don't seem to care about the American dream Who really cares about the American dream
Every evening on my way back home I get myself composed Pretending we'll be fine but I'll be leaving and you'll wake up alone Even though you've always known it still makes you cry I know every hour that passes I'm turning roses into ashes I made hell Man I helped made it harder on myself I go around Choose my words carefully So I won't give it all away All the way By now Girl you see right through me Throwing it all away All the way to the ground We all fall down
It'd be easy if I did something wrong If what we had wasn't so strong If it was just a lie But we both know that what we have is pure gold The kind of thing you can't let go for your life And I wish I could stay and talk to you and say the things I know you want me to Ending this frustration with a candid conversation And I know every hour that passes I'm turning roses into ashes I made hell Man I helped made it harder on myself I go around And choose my words carefully So I won't give it all away All the way By now Girl you see right through me Throwing it all away All the way to the ground We all fall down
I go around And choose my words carefully So I won't give it all away All away Right now Girl you see right through me Throwing it all away All the way to the ground We all fall
I just met this girl a little bit ago who I didn't realize until two weeks in was out of her fucking mind.
And I didn't realize that everyone referred to her as "Ketamine Kat.
" So my life went down some weird twisted alleys.
And I cut it off but I wrote a song about it.
It's called "Ketamine Kat," so here we go.
Dressed in black, skinny as a crack running up the walls of my soul She's gonna steal your heart and then replace it with coal She's been laughing at my sweet talk should it clog up your throat Before you know she's taking control A kiss and your legs are weak and your head is high low When you trip and she slips from the fray And oh Ketamine Kat twisted at the whisker and broken at the back There's no telling where she's at She'll try try try try try to beat the Sunday blues She's gonna try try try try try to beat the Sunday blues Then on the fact that it ain't no act she ain't like any girl that you've known Faking you out but she aint takin' you home She's swinging through alleyways and scaling up fire escapes for a smoke You think you're a man you're a boy you're a joke Your voice sounds like a squeak and you scurry along to find love But she's quick and she slips from the fray And oh Ketamine Kat twisted at the whisker and broken at the back There's no telling where she's at She'll try try try try try to beat the Sunday blues She's gonna try try try try try to beat the Sunday blues
Oh Ketamine Kat twisted at the whisker and broken at the back There's no telling where she's at She'll try try try try try to beat the Sunday blues She's gonna try try try try try to beat the Sunday blues She's gonna try to beat those Sunday blues
Thank you very much.
I left home about a week ago I never really had a brain of my own Back then I had an ego thinking that the world was so damn small And it's like the lawn's on fire Like the fumes might get me high And baby blue what should I do? Well I feel so lost without you And I'm deaf, dumb, blind, and out of touch Your eyes got so big, who can I trust And I fell so far from your side and when I look up I start to cry You're a darker hue My baby blue And I reread the same page never comprehending what the words have to say I'm always on the next stage living for a moment that never comes my way And it's like my numbers retired Like we always knew our lines And baby blue what should I do? Well I feel so lost without you And I'm deaf, dumb, blind, and out of touch Your eyes got so big, who can I trust And I fell so far from your side and when I look up I start to cry You're a darker hue, My baby, baby blue What should I do? Well I feel so lost without you I'm deaf, dumb, blind, and out of touch Your eyes got so big, who can I trust And I fell so far from your side and when I look up I start to cry You're a darker hue My baby blue You're a darker hue My baby blue
Thank you very much.
We have one more song for you.
I hope you like it.
No we have two more songs for you.
Here we go.
This is a song called "Headlights.
" I feel like I'm standing on a mountain Where everyone can see me in the worst way All these eyes on me expecting but I can't find a thing to say Headlights, casting my shadow on the clouds behind me Darkening all that define me In all of that blinding confusion How did I ever find you? In a life of second guessing Well I knew that first glance I would let you in In the emotion of the moment Well I gave myself to chance And thought of where we go not of what I've been Headlights, I'm weak and I'm hollow With the weight of my own head too heavy on my bones Headlights I'm eager to follow So many things unsaid and with so much still unknown Headlights, clearing the shadow on the clouds behind me I'm free for you to define me With nothing else in my vision How did I ever lose you? I was living such a vacant life then I thought that I had it right this time As fast as a fool can fall Trapped back in these same four walls I was living such a lonely life Then I thought that it all could be right this time As fast as a fool can fall Trapped back in these same four walls Headlights casting my shadow on the clouds behind me Darkening all that define me In all of that blinding confusion How did I ever find you? Headlights, clearing only the shadow on the clouds behind me I'm free for you to define me Nothing else in my vision How did I ever lose you? I was living such a vacant life then I thought that I had it right this time As fast as a fool can fall Trapped back in these same four walls I was living such a lonely life Then I thought that it'd all come right this time As fast as a fool can fall Trapped back in these same four walls
Thank you very much.
I'm Tor Miller.
We have one more song for you.
Oh how I let you fall from under me I walked away and never looking back to chase the remnants of a fleeting dream That couldn't wait Just wouldn't wait for me I feel like it never stops Wishing in my mind I will be giving you up This time Running wild trying to set myself free I was blind to what was standing right in front of me this time And all the while the world it hit me with the speed of sound And don't you worry girl, I'm always going to be around And by the last Just like Carter and Cash
Now, I walk this night right next to you with every step the closer that we'll get Caught in a fever that's so pure and true We'll paint the town until it all burns down Heartbeat like it never can stop Some delusion in my mind won't be giving you up this time, no Running wild trying to set myself free Lost sight of what was standing right in front of me this time And all the while the world it hit me with the speed of sound And don't you worry girl I'm always gonna be around And by the last Just like Carter and Cash You and me We're just like Carter and Cash You and me We're just like Carter and Cash Heartbeat like it never could stop Tell my vision and my mind won't be giving you up this time No I'm running wild trying to set myself free Lost sight of what was standing right in front of me this time And all the while the world it hit me with the speed of sound And don't you worry girl I'm always gonna be around And by the last We're just like Carter and Cash You and me We're just like Carter and Cash If you want to love me Why can't you just trust me baby? If you want to love me right here You just trust me baby Just like Carter and Cash
Thank you very much.
I'm Tor Miller, appreciate it.
See you around.
Thank you very much.

Artist Bio

Tor Miller is a 19-year old New York City native who spends his days attending New York University and his nights performing at venues such as The Bitter End, Rockwood Music Hall and The Slipper Room among others. Tor's distinct voice has landed him gigs as far from home as London, where his iPhone recorded tune "Hold The Phone" received a much coveted play as the "Next Hype" on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show. Support from Radio 1 is just the beginning of Tor's international exposure, the much respected John Kennedy of London's XFM has also begun putting Tor Miller records into rotation. NME Magazine recently featured Tor performing his song "Headlights" from the Trout Studios in Brooklyn. Currently working on his E.P. with Grammy Award-winning producer, Emery Dobyns (Antony and the Johnsons) in Nashville, Tor Miller will be making his way to the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX, with all announced shows below.

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Tor Miller

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