Deer Scout | Customs

customs by deer scout

Family Average: 5/7

It is a family affair. Its Fred Astaire! No it’s not it’s Deer Scout. This wonderfully intimate album will have you double checking your cupboards to make sure a indie rock band has not snuck into your home to play fantastic tunes. “Fear not” I told the family “they come in peace”. Thats what I told them, but was it true?

Listen along on Their Bandcamp and read on to find out:


This EP by Deer scout gives an introduction to Dena Miller in a pretty intimate setting. Through light fingerpicking, and soft-spoken vocals they come through the record as a pretty down to earth person.

Albums produced with such clarity, and simplicity cut to the bone baby!

Seriously though the album tackles heavy topics made even heavier by the intimacy. Love, hate, faith, all these things swing into focus at one point or another.

Holy ghost would be the stand out track for me. Putting it right up front was the perfect way to get my mind ready for the rest of the album to come. I would be seriously curious to hear a full band back up some of these songs. This is mostly because I see a lot of similarities between the singing/writing with the act Adult Mom.

Even still this is a strong entry from this artist, well done.



There is something really nice and romantic about a bit of solid songwriting and a guitar. With honeyed vocals, intimate and honest lyrics, Deer Scout has given us a lovely bedroom-folk album, waxing poetic about love, loss, and uncertainty. And though she deals with some pretty heavy and poignant material, her sweet delivery and gentle vocals give a sense of hopefulness. She’s done a really stellar job of meshing her voice with the guitar into one force that ebbs and flows with palpable, genuine emotion. The beauty of it all really lies within these melodies -- it all feels pure and unadulterated, with some subtle teenage angst and moral ruminations to give it some bite.  

All in all, it’s a short album that packs a punch; a stunning collection of songs that will resonate with many.



When I was a little baby, and would get purple in the face from screaming, my parents would take off my shoes and a wave of calm would apparently rush over me. The crying would stop and I’d take a breath and feel okay. That’s how Deer Scout’s Custom EP made me feel.

There is something that can just go so right when you have a simple three-piece band, and every instrument works in harmony. Combined with Dena’s sweetly nostalgic yet twistingly haunting vocals and her poetic’ve got yourself a hit. It’s a calm EP that makes me want to inappropriately use CAPS LOCK BECAUSE I LOVE IT SO MUCH. YEAH! CAPS LOCK...BUT CALM!

While “Holy Ghost” really is something and deserved to be the first track, “Train Song” may be my favorite. “you’re pulling smoke into your lungs//talking about what it means to be young//to be the smoke inside your lungs//to be the words on the tip of your tongue.” Oh man, does that not make me feel all kinds of something.

One of the best EP’s I graced my headphones with in a while. A perfect mid-winter jam.



Dena Miller strikes a perfect balance between subtle and powerful. Her soft spoken delivery is understated, however she congers up some very powerful images. In “little State” she urges you to..”Keep me in your thoughts today and I’ll forget how far way”. Her melodic message gets through and paints an immediate image of intimacy. As a parent of five children I really connected with “Up High” here is a snapshot in time when, as a parent to a young child you are perceived to be all knowing. As the years march on, you are no longer flawless. “I want to be you, can you teach me how to fix my bike”. Captures this magical time perfectly.

Of course “Holy Ghost” is a stand out, here Dena pens a playful tune, about leaving her childhood behind and moves on the next chapter in her life. It is a simple but beautiful track and I love it.


Sean Maldjian