Miles to go

Sarah miles, of Princeton, to release debut album

By Keith Loria, Special Writer
   As a child, Sarah Miles would sit and listen to her grandfather play classical music on the piano and marveled at his skill. Music, she decided, was something she wanted to be a part of.
   ”I would watch him play and he inspired me to take piano lessons,” she says. “Eventually, I started auditioning for some choirs in the area, and performed with the Princeton Girlchoir for nine years.”
   She also has the distinction of being the youngest child ever to be admitted to Westminster Conservatory Children’s Choir.
   As Ms. Miles entered high school and eventually the University of Vermont, music became even more important to her and she joined every choir and a cappella group she could. It was apparent to all who knew her that music wasn’t just a passion, but would become her way of life.
   Thanks to her music, Ms. Miles toured Sweden, Newfoundland, and Toronto, and performed at The White House and on the “Today Show.” Her music has been featured on “The Voice” and she’s opened for notable acts such as Teddy Geiger, Sister Hazel and Pat McGee.
   On July 16, the singer-songwriter will release her debut full length album under the Rock Ridge Music label, “One,” a sweetly sincere collection of finely crafted folk-pop inspired by the simple but bold decision to follow her heart.
   ”I’ve been working on this for three years now, writing a ton. I went to Nashville and New York, and have been working like crazy in the studio to bring these songs to life,” Ms. Miles says. “The title is about my journey to New York City and taking the city by storm and trying to make my dream happen. That’s a huge message I wanted to put across.”
   Before this album, Ms. Miles released three smaller EPs (under the name Saraj Jane Wilson), with about five songs each, and her work was critically acclaimed among the music press.
   ”It’s always a thrill to put out music, but for ‘One,’ it’s much more exciting, because it’s a full album and I had a great team behind me,” she says. “I think when you write a song you know or you don’t if it’s awesome. I knew it would be worth recording and sharing. The main thing for me is following your dreams. I wrote a lot about love and heartbreak — that’s in there, too.”
   Ms. Miles has garnered comparisons to everyone from Mariah Carey to Sara Bareilles to Carrie Underwood, and her producer Dave Pittenger infuses “One” with the same sort of popability that has made those three mega-stars in the industry.
   As she looks to her future in music, Ms. Miles is moving to Austin, Texas, a place with a lot of opportunities for singer-songwriters like her, and a land she feels is perfect for the type of music she plays.
   ”I would describe my music as indie pop meets country,” she says. “I grew up listening to James Taylor, Carly Simon, Joni Mitchell . . . all these great songwriters, but I’m also really attracted to catchy pop songs. If you combine those two, that’s what my music sounds like.”
   Ms. Miles will be touring to support the new album with appearances at New York’s Bowery Electric on July 17; Philadelphia’s Tin Angel on July 18; and Boston’s O’Brien’s on July 23.
   Although she doesn’t have any planned dates in New Jersey yet, she expects to come soon and wants to thank all of those in the area who have supported her through the years.
   ”I would not be where I am today without those who supported me; my friends, family and the stores in Princeton who have sold my CDs. It’s been amazing,” she says. “I will be there to play as soon as I can. Princeton is my roots and I’ll be back all the time.”