Illenium – Ascend [Album]
Always telling a story through beautiful melodies, Nick Miller known by stage name Illenium has gained a cult following for being able to masterfully conjure up strong emotion through any track or album he releases. His first two albums ‘Ashes’ and ‘Awake’ seemed to follow a story line, like they were both born into this intriguing fictional world created by Miller himself. Both studio albums peaked at numbers 6 (‘Ashes’) and 3 (‘Awake’) on the US dance chart and now his third album, ‘Ascend’ is here to dominate the music world.
Carrying on the same theme that previous albums have followed, ‘Ascend’ takes the listener on a journey of love, heartbreak and empowerment across 17 powerful tracks. Showcasing his immense growth as an artist from the time his last album dropped up until this moment, it’s clear that the tracks have come from a personal place within Miller and he has truly poured out all of his emotion and strength into the creation process of ‘Ascend’.
Of course, Illenium didn’t do ‘Ascend’ without a bit of help from a few artist friends. Jon Bellion (‘Good Things Fall Apart’), The Chainsmokers (‘Takeaway’), Said The Sky (‘Sad Songs’) and a heap more all feature as collaborations and each brings something completely unique through their distinct sounds. Songs like ‘Blood’ with Foy Vance and ‘Gorgeous’ with Bipolar Sunshine and Blanke break up the slower, melodic pace with hard-hitting drops that add extra layers to the album. One of the stand-out aspects of the album is the stunning pairing of ‘Angel (Lonely Prelude)’ and ‘Lonely’. With orchestral themes and angelic vocals provided by Chandler Leighton, it’s hard to not feel swayed by the pure powerful emotion that transcends anything that Illenium has created – in short, he has truly outdone himself.
“I’d say the overall theme is finding beauty in dark places or experiences. My outlook on life was shaped a lot by my earlier struggles and seeing the good that can come from things we initially view as “bad.”” – Illenium on the theme of ‘Ascend’, via Billboard.
Stream ‘Ascend’ by Illenium in full length below and check out tour dates here.