Growing up in Hartington, Nebraska, population 1,500, Ted & Alice Miller couldn’t help but meet. As most great stories go, Ted & Alice knew each other in high school, but never dated — not to say they never interacted. Of course, Ted got shot down for a prom date with Alice. Classic.
In thanks to Ted’s oldest brother, there were always guitars around, and the influence of Neil Young, John Prine, and Bob Dylan were a mainstay. Playing in bands all of his high school and college career, it became an ultimatum to Ted that he intentionally go out and record a batch of songs at a studio, if even just once.
Crossing paths again, Ted & Alice got married, where it was only natural to collaborate musically. What began as a handful of simple harmonies within Ted’s Muscle, Bone, Skin and Fat, led to feedback from listeners that planted the seed of inspiration to continue creating together.
In 2014, Ted & Alice Miller released Small Talk, with Alice on board as a vocalist, percussionist, and contributing songwriter. Small Talk went on to win Album of the Year from the Rural Roots Music Commission.
2016 brings us what Ted describes as “their strongest set of songs yet” in Adults Don’t Speak. 12 tracks, and their third full length album so far, IMPOSE gave it a complete listen-through.
“Crier” is the first track that stood out to us. Landing as what we confidently feel is Ted & Alice Miller’s strongest track on Adults Don’t Speak, its incredible harmonies, cohesive story, and clever hooks color us impressed.
“Summertime Fades” is as infectious as it is beautiful. More of a dialogue between husband and wife, the country tinge is undeniable.
A close second for ‘best track of the album’ is the incredible change of pace in “Theresa”. Evolving from the slower, relaxing journey in “Summertime Fades”, “Theresa” completely caught me off guard. The closing to this track is worth mentioning as well-done, too.
Ultimately, we weren’t huge fans of the title track, “Adults Don’t Speak”, but found such a creative and experiential variety within the album that it quickly became worth a listen. Charm and personality alike, much of the love songs like “Valentine’s Day” seem very real, in contrast to other musical efforts that craft similar tracks yet still seem stale.
Staleness is quite the opposite of what is housed within Adults Don’t Speak. Comfortable in their own world, this duo shines brightest in depicting their mutual experiences. Intentional or not, the impassioned harmonies throughout the album deliver the greatest value. Not that we don’t love Ted’s guitar work, too.