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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 all....

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 at Sub:marine 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.

Related Links:

A review of Mira on tour for this album.


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