Honey, a sweet, soothing, medicinal substance, is a fitting name for a band formed by two therapists. Lead vocalist Melissa Lee Nilles met guitarist Joseph Spilsbury while they were in graduate school together, and shortly thereafter, Miele was born.

Nilles and Spilsbury chose the Italian word for honey because they both had memories associated with the sticky sweet liquid. Now, it’s become inextricable from their band’s identity, as fans will bring them honey sticks or bottles, and Nilles and Spilsbury will even drink honey on stage.

Nilles described “Anxious Ghost”, a single from their new album Transience, as “a patchwork quilt of experiences about anxiety.” Through the song, Nilles hoped to use metaphor to personify anxiety sneaking up on a person or lurking within. The song captures a sort of experience of anxiety, with intense clashes of feelings for the first four minutes. With strong vocals, a steady electric guitar riff, and loud interjections from the drum beat, the band members created an experience that mirrors the act of facing anxiety and falling into the unknown.

After about four minutes, however, there’s a shift. The music falls to silence and then picks up again with Nilles’ vocals. “Anxious ghost, run around,” she sings in a slower and lighter verse, until the song fades out. This is a quieter experience, the rise after the intensity of the fall in the first half. The delicate, intimate outro gives a second to process and let out the feelings that have been bottled up.

Miele self-describes their music as alternative rock out of necessity, but prefers not to be pigeonholed into a specific subsection of music. Instead, the different aesthetics of “Anxious Ghost” lend to Miele’s own brand of music therapy.

Through music, Miele hopes to inspire or propel a change in the thoughts and feelings of the listener. Music serves as a way to reach out and connect, and they hope to tap into the universal quality in music “that predates our ability to comprehend our feelings and behavior in therapy.”

The album title of Transience is a reference to the exit of a founding member of the band, and strikes a chord with the general transience of music, of mental health, and of life. While the band’s make-up may have changed from their early days, they hold on to their focus on the importance of self-care. “Anxious Ghost,” then, is music therapy for the mind and soul, sneaking up on the unsuspecting listener but ending on a note that stays sweet as honey.

Listen to the single below, which will be released on April 13th.  

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