At first glance, Peter Miller, the burly and stone-faced lead singer of We Are the Willows, seems the least likely candidate for delivering the soft, strained, high-register vocals on his band's promising debut. More than once Miller's voice has been mistaken as coming from another gender altogether, but the androgynous nature of his voice and lyrics makes the Willows' music all the more alluring.

Over sparse, hollow drum samples and acoustic guitars, Miller's quavering, winged wail is the main focus of the band's album, A Collection of Sounds and Something Like the Plague, as well as their live shows. Even at a crowded club on a chatty weeknight evening, Miller's voice captivates, forcing the audience to shut up and direct its attention to the pin-prickling beauty of his emotive, eerily childlike delivery. Miller is a standout singer, the likes of which haven't been heard in the Twin Cities since the tragic passing of Jeff Hanson, and it's his voice, in all its haunting, head-turning purity, that makes him one of the most fascinating young performers to emerge in the past few years. [Best Vocalist (Male), City Pages Best of 2010]