He’s Not Alone
Miles Blvd explores isolation on new ep
Isolation can be a dangerous place for an artist to reside, but an update from isolation from a local hip-hop artist makes it clear he is back and better than ever.
Miles Blvd is a locally sourced hip-hop project from Eau Claire resident Phil Faucett who is ready to release his most ambitious project to-date. His new EP, Update from Isolation, is set to drop on Friday, Jan. 24, and its six tracks detail what it is like to deal with loneliness and what it takes to pull yourself up out of the depths of your own mind.
“I put myself through hell because I love to create great music. It’s an emotional journey, making music.” – Phil Faucett, a.k.a. Miles Blvd
“The theme of the record is loneliness,” Faucett said. “I realized this year that the reason why I was so upset was because I was lonely. I think it’s something a lot of people deal with but don’t recognize, because I think when people think of loneliness they automatically think of just romantic loneliness. I just wanted to make a record about the subject so people who are dealing with it can know they’re not alone.”
The new six-song EP is composed of the songs “Ezra’s Intro,” “Beverly,” “Oh, Claire,” “Reign feat. Cait McGarvey,” “Brevity,” and “Isolation (State of the Art).” To celebrate the release of the record, Faucett is playing a record release show at 9pm Friday, Feb. 7, at The Plus in Eau Claire. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door, and the set features additional support from DJ Hot Donna, Saucealemel, Jake Lacoste, and TeawhYB.
“I put myself through hell because I love to create great music,” Faucett said. “It’s an emotional journey, making music. … For the people who are interested in me and my journey, this is something I can give to them as an appetizer for the album I have coming out down the road. It shows my growth since 2017 and should give everyone something to think about and digest.”
A performance more than half a decade ago was the turning point in Faucett’s musical life. At the hip-hop music festival Soundset in 2014 a performance by artist Mac Miller inspired Faucett to pick up the mic and start writing his own songs. The connection 30,000 people could all have simultaneously with an artist and his music showed him what his path was: to create original music and express himself through song.
The first mixtape from the Miles Blvd project, Moonlight Drive, came out in 2017, and Faucett nabbed the Volume One Best of the Chippewa Valley Reader Poll spot for best hip-hop artist the same year. He spent 2018 focusing on his mental health and renewing inspiration to create, and 2019 saw the release of three new singles from Miles Blvd, further fueling his creative fires leading up to the release of Update from Isolation and what he views as a new start for him and his career.
“It’s been a considerable amount of time since my last project, and there’s been so much growth since then, that it’s almost like starting over again,” Faucett said. “Over the next year I’m going to be shopping it around, booking a lot more shows in Wisconsin and Minnesota and hopefully catch the attention of people in the industry.”
The theme of Miles Blvd’s music is finding hope where there seems to be none, loving yourself for who you are, and striving to be the best you can be despite any adversity you face. While Faucett said being the best man and artist he can be is his first priority, he said he is finally walking the walk and is more confident in himself and his music than he has ever been starting off the new decade.
“This is the first time I’ve completed a project and I’m super proud of it,” Faucett said. “I’m usually pretty nervous or anxious for people to hear something I’ve recorded. I usually listen back and hear something I could’ve done better or changed something to better, but this project is just so good. It’s really great. I struggle with confidence a lot, but this is something I’m super confident in and excited for people to hear. I think it’s the perfect catapult into 2020 for my career.”
Update from isolation: Miles Blvd is here to stay.