Blueburst Explode Into View With Vanish

The Atlanta alt-rockers burst out of your speakers with a six-minute guitar-rock epic.

Blueburst emerge fully formed with the shape-shifting, shoegazing southern-rock psychedelia of their debut single and video Vanish — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The first taste and title track of the Atlanta band’s upcoming first album, Vanish is a six-minute epic that bursts out of your speakers with a heady blast of jangly southern alt-rock a la vintage R.E.M. (via the classic sound of The Byrds). But that’s just the start: Vanish is also turbocharged with muscular guitar heroics reminiscent of Bob Mould and Hüsker Dü, smeared with layers of shoegazing psychedelia and even graced with an volcanic drum break that recalls the glory days of Keith Moon.

Unsurprisingly, Blueburst aren’t your usual band of hip 20-somethings arriving with stars in their eyes. It’s the brainchild of a rather unlikely “new” artist: Singer-guitarist Craig Douglas Miller, who is releasing a debut album at age 50 and reviving a music career he’d once written off. After major label interest for his 1990s band The Reach never quite panned out, Miller entered a 20-plus-year period of musical hibernation, the result of untreated clinical depression, writer’s block and “perhaps a few too many gin and tonics,” as he succinctly puts it.

But after connecting with legendary guitarist Marty Willson-Piper (The Church, Noctorum, All About Eve), Miller finally found the thing he’d been sorely missing: A trusted mentor and collaborator. With some inspiration provided by Willson-Piper, and with time on his hands during the pandemic, Miller set up his home studio again, dug in and completed an album’s worth of original songs, naming the new project Blueburst after the finish on his favourite guitar.

“I wasted 20-plus years doubting myself and not finishing any music,” Miller says. “So it’s extremely gratifying to be back now with the best music I’ve ever made. And it’s been a joy doing it with one of my favorite guitarists of all time.”

With Blueburst, Miller and Willson-Piper have created lush, guitar-based alternative rock, firmly rooted in ’80s alternative and post-punk, but with a timeless feel and foot-pounding pace. In a world of often overproduced, slick alternative rock, Blueburst are unapologetically retro in style, proudly wearing their oldwave influences on their sleeve. “Most of my friends, and a lot of younger people as well, are still listening to the albums we grew up with, I think because there’s a rawness and honesty in that music. That’s what we aspired to here,” says Miller.

Lyrically, Miller reflects the angsty times we’ve all recently experienced, through the lens of his renewed lust for life and music. “Turning 50 has shocked me out of ‘mid-life crisis’ mode, and started me in a new ‘Grab life by the balls while you still can’ mode. Many of the songs touch on that theme … making a difference while you can.”

Miller’s collaborators bring in an impressive professional pedigree: Drummers Michael Jerome (Better Than Ezra, Richard Thompson) and Brian Platt (The Cads), and bassist Ryan Kelly (Dayroom). And with Willson-Piper sprinkling his inimitable brand of creative, guitar work over top of Miller’s songs, the result is dynamic intelligent music that alternately crunches, chimes, jangles and pounds.

“Much of today’s so-called ‘alternative’ rock seems to have become just as overproduced and slick as the pop records they are supposedly an alternative to. But most of my friends, and a lot of younger people as well, are still listening to the albums we grew up with, I think because there’s a rawness and honesty in that music. That’s what we aspired to with Blueburst.”

Watch the video for Vanish above, check out the track below, and find Blueburst at their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.