This album seemed the perfect choice for my first contribution here. Not strictly ‘new’, it was released at the beginning of March, but since it’s become a staple of my 2008 listening charts so far, it seemed fitting to try to extend it to further audiences.

 The first time I properly listened to this album I was riding hundreds of miles across Europe, and ever since I have seen it somewhat as ‘travelling music’. Even when you’re not going anywhere, putting this CD on makes you feel like you’re on a journey. The lilting tones of opener ‘Pennies In A Well’ merge beautifully into the rawer sounds of ‘Let Me Love You’, both songs being a perfect showcase to begin the album with - rich with singer Kevin Coon’s heart-warming vocals, smooth lyrics and the beautifully balanced arrangement of acoustic guitars, harmonica and strings, these songs set a high standard for the rest of the album to follow - but follow it does.

A song that has stood out to me with every listen is ‘Hotel Eyes’. Nearly rivalling even Conor Oberst’s story-telling abilities, this is a sorrowful narrative of a girl like a hotel. Just reaching the six-minute mark and displaying a non-invasive and well-placed infusion of horns sometimes reminiscent of those used by Neutral Milk Hotel, ‘Hotel Eyes’ gives Miles and Miles and Miles another dimension. Yet another example of acoustic folk song writing at its best, ‘Say Goodnight’ begins to wind down the album with a sweet-toned set of lyrics and a chorus enriched with the effortless voice of band member Rachel Spotten.

With fiddles, trumpets, banjos, pianos, mandolins, cellos and harmonicas all in place, there is no denying that Candle’s most recent release is as diverse as song writing of this nature can be, and the result has been a flawless blend of calming melodies, unforced lyrics and lush orchestration. Also noteworthy is the fact that, although throughout the album the lyrical and melodic themes could often be classed as ‘melancholy’, the album is at no point depressing or over-emotional. Candle really have managed a perfect balance in this album and it is to their endless credit.

Since the album isn’t widely available on the internet, the best way to get hold of this CD is probably - shock horror! - to buy it. Direct from the band’s Myspace page you can be a proud owner of the CD for somewhere around £6 including postage, and they’ll even post it out to you with a lovely little note and a nice drawing on the back of the parcel, though I never managed to work out what it is. Get to it! Once these lovely noises have filled your ears you will never regret it.