Chris Mills is a highly-praised and well-respected Chicago singer/songwriter who is now based in NYC. Despite this praise, he's still remained in relative obscurity to the general public. Maybe if word gets out on this latest (Oct. '05) effort that will change.
Mills really pushed himself in new and different directions on his 4th (full) and latest album, The Wall To Wall Sessions. It's being praised as his finest effort to date. He's added horns and strings to create an orchestral pop sound crossed with his all ready enjoyable alt-country/americana stylings...the songs have a previously unexplored depth to them. Instead of laboring over the process, tracking each instrument for months and cleaning up everything during mixing, Mills rehearsed and recorded the album in only two-and-a-half days, capturing everything live on a two-track tape machine - no overdubs.
"If you listen to old Atlantic R & B from the 50s, even the early Elvis records, they just sound good," Mills says. "It's only a couple mikes and a couple guys in a room -- a really rudimentary recording setup. The vocals distort and overdrive and everything -- and that's the take they keep. Whereas today, somebody would go into Pro Tools and redraw the shape of a wave form to take the distortion out. I just wanted to go in the complete opposite direction from that." - Chris Mills
Mills is joined by musicians who have worked with Wilco, Sea and Cake, Giant Sand and Head of Femur (singers Kelly Hogan and Nora O'Connor lend excellent vocal support as well), but it's Mills' vision and songwriting that is the heart of the project. His friend, David Nagler's arrangements have also been highly praised. This is the first time Mills has given up control of the arrangements and he has said that he is very happy he did.
For fans of Jeff Tweedy, Ryan Adams, Flaming Lips, Phil Spector & Elvis Costello. This record was released on Mill's own label, Powerless Pop Records. Chris Mills' MySpace.
Chris Mills - Escape From New York
Chris Mills - You Are My Favorite Song
"...Chris Mills has made something approaching a perfect Chris Mills album, and on this evidence, he stands a fighting chance of eclipsing the likes of Workman and Coyne, artists who he has covered, yet whom he may turn out to be rather better than. Mills has moved into the front rank of today’s best music makers of all stripes and shades - this record deserves critical plaudits and a huge audience." - AmericanaUK.com