A.M. Mills is both vintage and contemporary on the contemplative “Ain’t Life Grand”

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A.M. Mills
A.M. Mills | photo by Joshua Cicetti | courtesy of the artist

Picture this — it’s a warm, sunny spring day and you’re walking through a garden filled with flowers, probably tulips. There’s a soft breeze blowing. A song plays. It’s A.M. Mills‘ new track, “Ain’t Life Grand,” and it makes you instantly agree with the songwriter and answer into the blue sky, “Yes, life is grand.”

Who knows if that’s what Mills was envisioning when he made the new song, but the scenario certainly fits. “Ain’t Life Grand” is four and a half minutes of soft, lilting musical goodness. Like all of Mills’ songs, it sounds entirely timeless — not like a 21st century artist copying a retro sound, but like it actually could have been made decades ago. At the same time, it’s not old fashioned — like the title suggests, the song is sunny and upbeat, focused on calm pleasantries and filled with delicate harmonies. It’s like the 1950s, minus the bad parts.

Mills released his last EP Window Box just a few months ago. The songwriter isn’t one for much fanfare surrounding his music — Window Box was a surprise release, and “Ain’t Life Grand” just popped up on Bandcamp. Yet just a cursory listen to any of A.M. Mills’ songs shows just how much care and precision the musician pours into his craft. Grab a hat (to shade you from the sun, of course. And also to fit that 50s aesthetic.) and listen below.

A.M. Mills opens opens The Cactus Blossoms’ show at Johnny Brenda’s next Friday, April 20. Find more information on the XPN Concert Calendar.

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