Three years since coming third on season five of The X Factor and without an album in sight, Jae Waetford instead keeps the momentum going with the release of his fourth EP in four years. Trading in the more natural acoustic and R&B sound of his previous Shy EP, Heart Miles instead opts for a more modern electronic twist on the genre, retaining the age appropriate style of his music but altering it to better fit his maturing voice.
Across the EP’s eight tracks, there are a few distinct styles covered; Waves mixes ethereal downtempo synths with choruses led by acoustic guitar to create a track that combines both the old and new styles. Later on in the EP The Nights We Won’t Remember and Living Not Dreaming veer into dance-pop territory, complete with hyper-edited vocal hooks in the former and sparkling, melodic riffs in the second, giving them stronger unique identities in comparison to the rest of the EP; the remaining tracks all lean towards different R&B styles, whether mid-tempo or straight up ballads. It’s safe to say that the more unique tracks are the easy highlights on the EP, with the mid-tempo remainder often feeling too similar to each other or, in the case of the title track Heart Miles and its sample of Haddaway’s What Is Love, too awkward for its own good.
While they did a good job of maturing Waetford’s music to fit his deepening voice, it doesn’t do much to change the fact that the EP unfortunately finds itself filled to the brim with filler material. While half of the songs find themselves sticking in your head, the remainder suffers more so because of this, especially in the case of the unnecessary 2016 mix of his previous single Shy. It’s a decent collection, but not one that replaces the absence of a solid album.