The debut album by Milagres almost never happened. The indie-rock group’s singer and main songwriter Kyle Wilson had grown weary of his band and Brooklyn, so he traveled to rural British Columbia to rough it and contemplate his future. While rock climbing, he fell and suffered back injuries that would have him laid out for months. It was during this time that he felt the urge to return to Brooklyn and start recording the songs he was dreaming up in bed.
With a renewed sense of purpose, Milagres began working on rough mixes of new tunes that eventually turned into their debut Glowing Mouth (due September 13 on Kill Rock Stars). One such song was “Here to Stay,” the second track on Glowing Mouth, posted below. Full of fluttery keyboards, sublime vocals and dreamy lyrics, the song reflects the group’s light touch. “Here to Stay” begins with the line “I was restless,” and judging from the stories Wilson tells below, it could well be the mantra of the group.
What is “Here to Stay” about?
I’m not completely sure, and if I were, I’m not sure it would be as good. I definitely took a lot of bits and pieces from Wallace Stevens poems. I’ve always been a fan of his work and I think about it a lot. It has a lot of relevance to me.
The way the guitars and keyboards play off each other really makes the song. How did that come together?
That’s this crazy keytar we found! Just kidding, I have no idea, we went through a long and intricate process to arrive at the arrangement of this song. It’s all fuzzy by now, but it was a very collaborative effort.
You made a video for the song with clips filmed throughout your self-booked tour. What is your favorite scene in the video, why, and where was it?
I’m from New Mexico and a few of my bandmates had never been in that type of environment until this last tour, when that footage was taken. I think the clip of Chris looking down over a canyon was taken between where my mother grew up and where my grandfather worked for the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos. That day we saw some cave dwellings and did a bit of rock climbing and awkward scrambling. It was really fun to finally get to show them where I was from. I think they had fun, but who knows, maybe they were whispering to each other, “So this is why this guy is such a weirdo!”
Prior to making the album, you went to British Columbia to get away from Brooklyn. What are some things in Brooklyn that make you happy you came back?
Well, it is nice to have a toilet and a shower, and plenty of food. When I was in British Columbia, I wasn’t exactly living indoors so it was really a whole different sort of life. You’re much less concerned about normal stuff like paying your bills, meeting your boss’s standards and maintaining personal relationships and a lot more concerned about how you’re going to get from point A to point B without falling into a 150-foot crevasse. I find that feeling pretty liberating, personally, but I suppose it’s nice to be concerned with more trivial things as well. It’s just nice in a very different way.
You were thinking of leaving Milagres until you suffered a back injury while rock climbing and had time only to think about your life. What was going through your mind?
I would say mostly music was going through my mind. But also lots of other weird stuff because I was taking a lot of painkillers and my mind definitely reacts really intensely to any kind of drug.
Your band’s name means “miracles” in Portuguese. What are some personal miracles you’ve experienced?
Well, the name has led to a miraculous number of Portuguese-speaking followers on Facebook! Ummm… Viva Brazil?!
Milagres plays tonight at Mercury Lounge with Waters, Exitmusic and Anni Rossi.