Miko Marks’s last release ‘Our Country’ was a welcome return for an artist who had suffered setbacks in her country music career, never finding the opportunities or success her talent deserved. That album was a classic mix of country, soul and gospel influences showcasing an artist who had renewed hope for a late career resurrection.
This recent album ‘Feel Like Going Home’ builds on that blended Americana sound, helping finally bring her music to wider attention and leading to her Grand Ole Opry debut. She is also going out on tour next year with fellow black country music singer Rissi Palmer (they have also been performing a duet called ‘I’m Still Here’ which I look forward to hearing).
The album begins with an admission that ‘she’s been too long away’, yet a fear of returning home doesn’t stop her from going on the journey. She’s a wanderer but she wants to find her way home.
‘One More Night’ takes us down to the South, through Memphis and Houston, celebrating the blues and everything about music.
‘River’ is a more bluesy song, showcasing her powerful vocals. ‘This Time’ is a softer swoon of a song, mixing the steel guitar with a gospel choir. ‘Trouble’ is a tribute to the civil rights great John Lewis and this one is sure to be a brilliant live track as well. ‘Deliver Me’ also addresses troubles facing the world, seeking comfort in her faith.
What’s clear from the songs on here is that she’s searching for something: home, belonging, peace, the good life. That last idea inspires a song for her mother, where she is looking back to honour where she’s come from.
‘Lay Your Burdens Down’ is a beautiful slice of country gospel and the beating heart of this record. She finishes with ‘Jubilee’ a song of forgiveness and harmony.
I love this kind of classic, vintage inspired style songs and performance. Production-wise my only complaint is that I would’ve loved to see her lean even further into the country influences which brought her to Nashville in the first place, if only to further show the genre what it missed out when it overlooked her back in the day.
‘Feel Like Going Home’ is a celebratory, confident album from a vocalist who sounds renewed and reborn. You hope this leads to a continued successful recording career in a music industry which must do more to nurture diversity and make reparations for past mistakes.