I like this album. I really like it. I’m not in the loop on Indie music and I rarely listen to the genre but this album is great. It features a wide range of sounds and not one note sounds cliché. Thao & Mirah and their co-producer, Merill, sound great together and the other musicians support them wonderfully. Hats off to them.
The album opens with a track called “Eleven” that could pass as synthpop if it weren’t for its informal sound. The percussion is creative, the vocals are textured and fun, and it grooves. This is a track that breathes and that openness is something other artists should take note of and try to emulate. The same sentiment goes for the second song, “Folks,” a track that combines a country waltz with an East Coast horn section for a charming, idiosyncratic, feel.
The meat of this album for me is in the three songs “Teeth,” “Spaced Out Orbit,” and “How Dare You.” Thao’s singing and playing, singing, and writing on “Teeth” are great and they used a seven voice chorus to great effect. “Spaced Out Orbit,” a song by Mirah, contrasts “Teeth” beautifully, with a heavier sound provided by synthesis and echo effects. How Dare You, another song by Thao, features very tasteful accompaniment, almost all provided by Merill (Thao played guitar and Mirah sang).
The penultimate track, which features the most tasteful accompaniment of all, is “Hallelujah,” a prayer like song with reverent vocals, fingerpicked guitars, shakers, and wine glasses. Most of my praise so far went to Thao but Mirah deserves major props for this song. It’s really a great song. The album closes with Square Neck (a reference to the type of guitar used), a fun little send off much in the same way “Walk Between The Raindrops” is for ‘The Nightfly.’
Time for the not-so-great things about the album. Some of the songs have an East Coast R&B feel that’s incongruous with the rest of the album. Also, I felt that some of the tracks could have greatly benefitted from a more polished sound like the others. These inconsistencies inhibit the flow of the album.
Overall, though, I loved this album and I look forward to hearing more from these two (you should as well).