We Are The Willows is the project of one singer/songwriter Peter Michael Miller. He writes, arranges, and performs most all of the sounds you hear on his recordings. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and when he’s not on the road playing tunes he can be found recording music in his basement or watching “Boy Meets World”.
With his newest release, Places, Peter attempts to capture moments in time, people and places, in a song. He writes of a trip to Sante Fe to visit his brother, or being late to his niece’s first birthday party in Hayward, or thinking of a friend in Somewhere, Virginia; experiences that commonly fade away and are forgotten beyond the reach of nostalgia. Peter covers a couple of his favorite songs; “Savings Account” by Minneapolis group History Books and “Microphone Ghost” by Eau Claire rock band, Laarks. Each of these songs brings Peter to a place in time, a collection of memories in two cities that he has called home. In capturing these moments, Miller saves away simple memories as something precious and significant.
Places marks a step in Peter’s evolution, both sonically and personally. In his debut full length, A Collection Of Sounds And Something Like The Plague, Peter’s manipulation of found sounds and electronic sound samples acted as a vehicle for him to manipulate and transform the circumstances of his own life in order to create something better. In Places, he attempts to imagine experiences in the past the way they were. Peter enlisted Josiah Waderich to arrange parts for a string quartet that includes, Bethany Sibenaller, Emily Samsel, Leah Ottman, and Eric Phillips. The quartet, along with Peter’s dream like vocals and luscious instrumentation creates a sound that gets lost somewhere between past and present, dream life and real life.
Peter usually plays alone. Though his recordings would lead one to think otherwise, he simply can’t afford to bring all his friends on the road. However, whether Peter is accompanied by a string quartet in an attentive theater, blaring electric guitars and electronic sound samples in a bustling bar, or is quietly communicating his songs solo in a cafe, We Are The Willows is about imagination. It’s about understanding the world and re-imagining it in a new way…with music.