Today’s Song: “Miracle Mile” – Cold War Kids

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts - Cold War Kids

Cold War Kids have been around for nearly a decade now, yet the band retains a signature “indie” vibe. Perhaps that’s a little bit of what the band were hinting at with “Miracle Mile,” the lead (and only) single off Cold War Kids’ fourth album, 2013’s Dear Miss Lonelyhearts. “Miracle Mile” is a piano-driven, shout-your-lungs-off anthem about the long road to musical stardom, and the challenge of maintaining relationships (of any kind; the song is not specific) while shooting for that “success.” In true to form Cold War Kids style, “Miracle Mile” features lead singer Nathan Willett’s loud and derisive singing (it’s hard to say he’s shouting, but it kind of feels that way) and a set of heavily-pounded drums.

Where “Miracle Mile” really differs from previous Cold War Kids material is its stylistic form. The song starts off quickly and heavily – similar to “Let Me Take You Away” in yesterday’s “Today’s Song” post – but it continues to grow and build from verse to chorus, and from chorus to chorus. A pop/rock tune, “Miracle Mile” shows Cold War Kids as a refined rock band: The music is clean-cut and the band is super tight! This musical tightness is especially key for “Miracle Mile,” as Cold War Kids’ music has not, in the past, been especially known for that quality. Of course, anyone who knows much about the band will rightfully contest that their looser style was a conscious choice. Dear Miss Lonelyhearts finally finds Cold War Kids exploring the highly marketable (and still respectable) pop/rock genre.

Of course, this song is not without something to critique. The lyrics are a bit more cookie cutter than previous CWK material, which can be looked at through good and bad lenses depending on an individual’s take on “cookie cutter” material. The verses offer stark, situation-based glimpses into the road to “glory.” The chorus is an admission that the road to glory won’t bring about happiness. There’s a neat call-and-response dynamic between the two parts of the song, but the verse is a little too vague for most listeners to dig in and catch the meaning. That said, there’s a huge tension offset between the verses and the chorus, both musically and lyrically, which is palpable even to the untrained musical ear. This song is dripping with tension, and it’s the sort of force that keeps the wheels in motion from start to finish: An excited tune, “Miracle Mile” is constantly pounding and constantly pushing forward. The song’s dynamic contrasts make the chorus’ release all the more powerful: “I’d be alright, if I could just see you / Come up for air, come up for air / A miracle mile, where does it lead to / Come up for air, come up for air”

“Miracle Mile” is proof that Cold War Kids know how to write a killer pop song. They just like making all the other stuff, too!

Listen: “Miracle Mile” – Cold War Kids

 

“Miracle Mile” – Cold War Kids

I was supposed to do great things
I know the road was long
But I wasn’t raised to shoot for fame
I had the safety on

I cut my ties, I sold my rings
I wanted none of this
If you start from scratch you have to sing
Just for the fun of it

I’d be alright, if I could just see you
Come up for air, come up for air
A miracle mile, where does it lead to
Come up for air, come up for air

I feel the air upon my face
Forget the mess I’m in
Hold me again, don’t count mistakes
I lost track of them

I’d be alright, if I could just see you
Come up for air, come up for air
A miracle mile, where does it lead to
Come up for air, come up for air

I was in the mud, I was in the dirt
Went underground and I found what I was worth
All alone and I know I cant stay
But we’re walking up and down the streets to stay awake

Come up for air, come up for air, come up
Come up for air, come up for air, come up
Come up for air, come up for air, come up
Come up for air, come up for air, come up

Get outside, get all over the world
You learn to love what you get in return
It may be a problem and it may be peace of mind
Put your head down down and breathe one breath at a time

Come up for air, come up for air, come up
Come up for air, come up for air, come up
Come up for air, come up for air, come up
Come up for air, come up for air, come up

I’d be alright, if I could just see you
Come up for air, come up for air
A miracle mile, where does it lead to
Come up for air, come up for air

I’d be alright, if I could just see you
A miracle mile, where does it lead to

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts – Cold War Kids

Keep in touch with Cold War Kids online on Facebook / Twitter / ColdWarKids.com!

Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com