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Concept Album’s Message Pretty Obvious One Song in

SEATTLE — Local singer/songwriter Brant Miller released a conceptual folk-pop epic today that’s clearly about getting back with his ex-girlfriend, confirmed sources who just listened to a few minutes of it.

“The first song is about a sailor searching for the mermaid who stole his heart or some shit,” said Gwendolyn Pike, a mutual friend of Miller and his ex-girlfriend Sheila Baumgartner. “But, like, the mermaid is obviously Sheila. And the name of the sailor’s boat is the Belroy, which is the same name as the apartment complex they lived in together.”

Friends also point to a number of striking similarities between the mermaid’s physical description and Baumgartner’s actual appearance.

“How many mermaids do you know with a pixie cut, stick-and-poke tattoos, and a septum piercing?” asked Miller’s roommate Dave Maddison, who was forced to listen to several rough mixes. “Oh, and the maritime theme? Yeah — one time, Sheila said she thought sailors were kind of sexy. I guess he really took it to heart.”

Miller insisted the album, Lonely Shores, “isn’t about anyone in particular” and should be viewed “more as a rumination on love and heartbreak” than a missive of longing for Baumgartner.

“You’ve gotta separate the art from the artist,” said Miller, who also claimed their breakup was mutual and that he “barely thinks about [Baumgartner] anymore.” “If Sheila does happen to listen to it, that’d be cool, no doubt. Maybe it would inspire her to unblock me on Instagram… or even respond to my texts, and we could just go get a coffee to talk about things. But, this isn’t about her — it’s about the human experience.”

Bandmates, however, note that songwriting for the album began shortly after the couple’s split, and represents a significant departure from Miller’s more aggressive musical style.

“Dude used to fucking bring it,” said Matthew Sanchez, the drummer of Miller’s hardcore band Swap Meet, which has now been relegated to a side project. “Honestly, this new shit sounds like something that slid out of Ivan & Alyosha’s ass. It’s the kind of mopey shit Sheila was always trying to get him to listen to.”

For his part, Miller maintained he did not intentionally alter his style to reflect Baumgartner’s tastes, calling it “a happy coincidence.”

“Oh, I’m sure a few of the tracks will be to her liking,” he said, gazing wistfully out of a nearby window. “And if they wind up in one of her summer playlists, well… who am I to stop her?”

At press time, Baumgartner was not aware of the album’s existence.