Going into Middle of the Map Fest 2016, Your Friend was the set I was looking forward to the most. She was one of the best of the 20 sets I caught at the fest. Your Friend is Lawrence, Kansas-based musician Taryn Miler. Miller is signed to heavyweight indie label Domino Recording Company (Domino is also home to artists like Real Estate and Dan Deacon). Her debut album, Gumption, is one of my favorite releases of the year.
A large crowd packed the basement of Californo’s to see Your Friend’s set. Miller’s shifting soundscapes were entrancing. Her vocals had more clarity and depth live. Miller would jump from guitar to looping pedal to synth, often the same song, to craft her tunes. Songs like “Gumption” grew from soft murmurs into sweeping epics. Towards the end of her set, Taryn mentioned that she had had a live band until last week and that this might be her last show for awhile. She shouldn’t worry. Your Friend’s solo set at Middle of the Map Fest proved that she can go it alone and reach glorious heights.