I have been hearing about Mira for quite some time. They are
a shoegazer band from Florida, and i went to see them in July
when they performed
at The Echo Lounge. I really enjoyed that set, so i picked
up their latest release on Projekt records.
Projekt is the label owned by the guy from Black Tape For A
Blue Girl, who are an intensely dark and morose "goth chamber
orchestra" type of band. I enjoy "goth" music to a certain
degree, and despite their shoegazery performance i half-expected
Mira to come across more goth on album. Being on Projekt and
But they do not. The music is upbeat and swirly, all guitars
and voice. Which just goes to show that you can't always pin
a band down based on what label they record for.
Actually, this is a pretty strong album. It's a good mix of
rock guitarwork with strong rhythm and wonderful vocals. Lead
singer Regina Sosinski has a wonderful voice, and the rest of
the band compliments her quite nicely. But this is a "vocal"
band. In the recording mix the voice is way out in front of
the other instrumentation. Live the sound blended quite well,
but on the album her voice is shown as the main instrument.
For the most part it works. The rest of the music backs up
the voice quite nicely, and there are relatively few times that
i find it odd and out of place. You can still hear the music,
and even if the voice is dominating the sound, it doesn't hide
any of the other instruments. I guess what i am trying to say
here is that even though the voice is recorded at a higher level
than the other instruments, it all still seems balanced. Which
i suppose goes to show that they had some good production on
this album in order to pull that off. So, kudos to Tom Parker,
who is credited with recording and mixing.
SIDE NOTE: I looked on the sleeve for the name of
the recording engineer, and right beneath that credit is "Cover
art by Miles Tilmann". A wierd coincidence, as i just finished
typing up my review
of a Miles Tilmann show. And i do believe that it is the
SAME Miles Tilmann -- he has a book of art available for sale
Records and at his concert. A strange synchronicty....
I like this disc. There are several tracks on it that work
quite well. The second track, Going Nowhere, features
some light guitarwork that really swells up in the middle of
the song to a wonderful contortion of guitar notes that combine
with the voice very well. In fact, Mira are pretty strong in
that type of mellow guitar and voice song. Plastique,
track seven on the disc, in another wonderful song in the same
vein. Guitars echo and chime and Sosinski sings her highest,
most sopranic on the album for a really otherworldly effect.
This song adds a violin to the mix, and is perfectly lovely.
But Mira are capable of hitting the noisey end of the shoegazer
spectrum as well. Green does that real well, creating
a real wall of feedback in the middle, yet still anchored in
Sosinski's high pitched and somewhat melancholy voice. This
is my favorite track on the album, but then again, we all know
how i feel about distortion!
I am impressed with Mira. They are the second really good shoegazer
band from Florida that i have heard lately (the first being
the amazing Isobella), and
i wonder how many more there are hiding in the swamps down there.
It's strange, but apparently Florida is like a sunny, orange
tree filled Canada!
That said, i think that this is a strong disc. The music has
a shoegazer element of distortion, but that is balanced with
some nice psychedelic guitarwork on some of the songs. It has
strong vocals, and has an overall "pop" feel to it. I think
that the album could appeal to anyone from shoegazers to Pink
Floyd fans to enthusiasts of the "girl pop" genre. If you fit
into any of those categories, go check Mira out.