Miriam Waks dropped Tales from a Room not too long ago. It’s her first album of original songs, meaning she’s become a singer-songwriter, whereas prior to the album she was a song interpreter.
Waks began performing when she was 10 years old, singing solo at the Sydney Opera House. Ever since then, she’s performed around the world: Hong Kong, Macau, India, Italy, London, Cuba, France, Buenos Aires, and New York City. In addition, she is one half of the experimental electronic music duo Metabards.
Waks’ sound encompasses a variety of stylistic influences, including acoustic, Americana, rock, pop, soul, country, and country pop.
Tales from a Room contains 11 tracks, starting off with “Back to the Jungle,” a bluesy soul tune with cool colors oozing from the guitars and organ. There’s a tantalizing, rolling dynamism to the tune reminiscent of B.B. King. “Slave to the Song,” a Celtic-flavored folk tune, offers tender, gentle harmonics, as Waks’ rich, yet delicate voice floats overhead. The song terminates with exotic background harmonies provided by Tribal Baroque.
“Undeserving Girl” offers a scintillating country pop tune redolent with hints of Dolly Parton. I love the interplay of the keyboards on this tune, as the piano and organ textures coalesce. “Song for Achilles,” a bluesy soul tune imbued with numinous, flowing colors from the piano and strings, is beautiful. The mood of the song melds adoration with what amounts to almost religious passion.
“Hey! Little White Girl” submits a down-and-dirty soul tune with a dazzling piano and sneering organ exuding fat electric colors. Waks struts the range of her voice on this song, soaring up the register with glorious results and then descends to wicked subterranean tones as the song ends.
My favorite song on the album is the opening track, “Back to the Jungle,” because of its oily bluesy secretions.
The highlight of Tales from a Room is Waks’ voice, rich and delicate, with a striking exotic roundness, making it uniquely pleasing to listen to.