Thursday 28 August 2008

Alt-rock-madrigal. Booming timpani. Deranged bass ... Mirah

Hoorah! Joanna Newsom isn't, it turns out, the only alt-folky female artist who dares to eschew the sweet-voiced minimalism and quirky-yet-still-predictably-tweendie instrumentation we've come to expect.

If these words bring joy to your heart, take an e-gulp (sorry) of Cold Cold Water by Mirah. The link will take you straight to a freely downloadable mp3 on her press site: legit, guv. No seedy filesharing here. 

What to expect? Booming timpani, chamber-orchestral strings, some kind of pump organ ... Nylon-stringed guitars strummed like the lutes of so many madrigalists – but seamlessly integrated with chunky palm-muted electrics ... Disembodied choirs ... Although, thinking about it, isn't everything pretty much disembodied by default, via the recorded medium? Um ... Anyhow. You get the idea.

... Then brace yourself for a rather deranged bass guitar solo, with pseudo-Muezzin vocals wailing in the background, about a minute from the end. How rare.

The but?
Somehow (even in spite of this), the song doesn't quite climax as I'd like it to ... I find myself waiting for everything to let rip simultaneously - which doesn't happen.

Nevertheless, a fine and intriguing song.

Here's Mirah's page, for good measure. 

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