Indie folk duo blends musicality, romance

Geneseo Late Knight brought the indie folk pop duo So Long Solo to the Knight Spot on Saturday Oct. 17. The couple performed a mix of covers and original songs as their 1-year-old son Rockwell walked around the stage. Mark Miller and Heather Miller make up the personable pair. The two performed an array of covers including Ingrid Michaelson’s “Take Me the Way I Am.” The Millers claimed that Michaelson is one of their biggest musical influences. Other covers ranged from Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth’s “See You Again” to Amos Lee’s “Sweet Pea” and Imagine Dragon’s “On Top of the World.”

So Long Solo’s inspiration also stems from the richness of classical music and musicals. Mark Miller is classically trained; he explained how both he and Heather Miller enjoy music that tells stories.

It was clear that the duo was very musically inclined; they both played a variety of instruments including the ukulele, melodica, shakers and the cello. Mark Miller’s method for playing the cello appeared very unusual—it was strapped onto his body rather than played in the classic sitting position.

Besides covers, So Long Solo performed some of their original songs such as “Under the Bridge,” “End of the Rainbow,” “Little Rabbit,” “Middle of Love” and “What If?”

Each song they composed had a special backstory. For example, “Under the Bridge” was a song about women in Uganda who were left as single mothers when abandoned by their lovers. Other songs such as “End of the Rainbow” and “What If?” had more sentimental and personal meaning to them.

The Millers studied music separately and worked in distant places such as Tokyo and Uganda. Mark Miller was a solo artist when the two met. On their honeymoon, Heather Miller decided to quit her job and join her husband in the music business. Since then, the two have been touring coast to coast, primarily on college campuses.

The So Long Solo duo have been married for five years. They share a common love for music and for each other—it was refreshing to see such chemistry between a couple. They are not only doing what they love, but they are doing it with whom they love.

“End of the Rainbow” conveyed that love, and it was the first song that the Millers wrote together. This song is about meeting that special person you want to spend the rest of your life with. It was lighthearted—like many of their songs—as Heather Miller skillfully played the xylophone with their harmonies.

“What If” was the last song of their set, speaking of the possibility of the duo never meeting each other and never having their wonderful family. The song was cheerful and carefree as the two bounced around as they sang.

Despite their obvious connection, the Millers commented on how unalike they are in certain regards. Heather Miller was Mark Miller’s first girlfriend while she was previously engaged twice. They dedicated the Michaelson cover to their relationship, with Heather Miller explaining how she can be herself around her husband and he “takes her the way she is,” unlike her previous significant others.

The two of them promote themselves as a “family business” as they bring their son on every tour they embark on. “It’s amazing to travel as a family,” Mark Miller said. “[It’s amazing to] make people’s lives better.”

Heather Miller also discussed her favorite part of touring. “[The best part] is the interaction with the listeners and seeing them affected by our music in some way,” she said.

The Millers are a caring duo and enjoy getting to know new people. The duo spoke and personally introduced themselves to nearly every audience member at the event.

So Long Solo provided a kindhearted and relaxed presence to the Geneseo campus. Their sound was lively and original, and it was rewarding to see such personable people who live a crazy lifestyle of travelling around the country and performing.