If Taryn Miller’s ‘Jekyll/Hyde’ EP was a satisfying exercise in downbeat triumph, it’s surprising how quickly ‘Gumption’ marks an early departure from that endearing style. Where tracks like ‘Tame One’ fell somewhere between the sparse tenderness of Explosions in the Sky and the heart-on-sleeve vocals of She Keeps Bees, here Miller steps into the relative unknown, exploring drones, loops and field recordings with varying degrees of success.

Opener ‘Heathering’ is pleasant and plaintive – all drifting vocals wrapped around languid guitar twangs and layered harmonies – but it’s on ‘To Live With’ that the synth-heavier influence surfaces. Coming alive with a foreboding B-movie loop, it thrums into the vocal acrobatics of ‘Desired Things’, and the atmosphere continues on ‘Nothing Moved’ with humming melodies and dark, tribal drums. Title-track ‘Gumption’ briefly lifts some gloom with washing, dreamy ambience, but by the time ‘I Turned In’ has slowed the pace to a contemplative, mournful crawl, it’s a mix of moods that leaves this collection of songs feeling ambivalent and unresolved, despite Miller’s spirited intent.


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