Understanding, Mirah's 6th full length solo record, is a conscientious return to her early unconventional recording process - an embrace of spirited imperfection and rawness inclusive of rough first takes, natural room sounds, and a fair amount of broken equipment. Bathed in the sparkles of disco ball light, Mirah recorded demos with vocals, guitar, organ, and percussion in a former army barracks gymnasium at The Headlands Center for the Arts, where she spent four weeks as an artist in residence.
Once home in Brooklyn, Mirah teamed up with her frequent co-producer Eli Crews (tUnE-yArDs, The Julie Ruin, Son Lux) and invited Deerhoof's Greg Saunier to join them in the studio. The collaboration sparked new textures and ideas. Building on top of Mirah's vibrant original tracks, they used midi to transform a marimba into a distorted farfisa melody, drastically lowered the pitch of vocals until they morphed into sub-bass lines, and added layers of distinct timbres from Crews' extensive vintage synth collection, a mellotron, and an 80's era Soviet drum machine.
Written and recorded in a time of political and personal upheaval - family illness and the death of a dear friend - Mirah (one of the best lyricists of our indie rock generation) uses her sharp intellect, empathy, and a measure of levity to shine a light on the world around us and the ways of our own hearts, showing us that understanding is what we all need a little more of.
Understanding is the third release on Mirah's own imprint, Absolute Magnitude Recordings.
Sundial began as a special project Mirah was asked to do for the BRIC Arts/Media House in Brooklyn in 2016. She immediately contacted longtime friend and collaborator Jherek Bishoff to work on creating string arrangements for some of her songs for this special performance. Following the project the two decided to tour the songs with a string quartet. Never one to do things in the normal order, it was only after the shows were over that it dawned on Mirah to make a record of all this beautiful stuff. With the exception of "Sundial" each of these songs has appeared on a previous recordings, now with new breath breathed into them by the unique and varied arrangements. The 7 song e.p. is being released as a limited edition 12" clear vinyl record.
On her fifth solo album, Mirah breaks it down and builds it back up again with the street smarts that only years behind the wheel of love can inspire. Ready with the maps and driven to the rhythms on the radio dial, Changing Light's ten songs carry us from heartbreak to wholeness and all the places in between.
When it first appeared on (a)spera in 2009, the first solo album from Mirah since 2004, “Gone Are All the Days” was a song of sorrow with a little swing and a bit of hope. Live performances of the track took the swing and added a disco beat; an energetic pulse that alleviates sadness with glittery energy and an empowered delivery.
When unwrapped this 12” single comes in four parts: a studio recording (“Disco Beat”) including a newly constructed musical arrangement featuring a punchy bassline, a sly guitar, bongos, viola and a rerecorded vocal performance by Mirah, an isolated instrumental track, an additional dance remix by Christopher Doulgeris of Hooliganship, and an a capella vocal track. These “Days” are brighter, and the future is happening already. Be a part of it.
The album holds many surprises within its undulating reverie. String sections shimmer in the opening track “Generosity” and in the impeccable “Education,” a relentless fist pounds against a soundboard in the darkly powerful “The World Is Falling Apart.” “Shells” offers a breathtaking vantage of Kane MathisÂ¹ masterful playing of the mandinka kora, a street party emerges in full swing from the galaxy of MirahÂ¹s heart in “The Country of the Future,” unexpected turns are taken in “The Forest,” horns burst forth as quickly as they retreat back into the starscape on “The River.” Kalimba, hurdy gurdy, bongos, horns, instruments for all worlds, all times.
Inspired in part by influential French scientist/poet J.Henri FabrÃ©, Mirah’s lyrics smartly humanize the trials and pleasures of the insect world, touching on themes of villainy, seduction, self-sacrifice and love. Shining a light on the epic complexity of the insect world, the songs imply an inescapable comparison with our own. Along with a host of other sources Share This Place draws visual inspiration from Karel ÄŒapek’s surrealist Insect Play where the epic and dramatic lives of insects are given human characteristics to extenuate the similarities between humans and insects in work and desire. The music and corresponding videos explore the tender, dramatic, sordid, tragic and triumphant lives of insects.
In Share This Place: Stories and Observations, Lori Goldston and Kyle Hanson of Black Cat Orchestra acclaim team up with K Records recording artist Mirah to deliver a sweeping song cycle inspired by the tragic and triumphant lives of insects.
Inspired in part by influential French scientist/poet J.Henri FabrÃ©, Mirah’s lyrics smartly humanize the trials and pleasures of the insect world, touching on themes of villainy, seduction, self-sacrifice and love. Shining a light on the epic complexity of the insect world, the songs imply an inescapable comparison with our own.
A concept album of sorts, Share This Place is a score written by Goldston, Hanson and Mirah for a suite of twelve stop-motion animated short films by Britta Johnson. One of the films, Credo Cigalia, is included on the album, along with an illustrated lyric booklet.
When Mirah makes a plan, she involves everybody. She makes a cafe in her living room, and everybody is invited. Her birthday parties, more likely than not, are costumed formal dinners, long walks around lakes, or hot air balloon rides. Mirah has recorded three albums of her lovely song self, always directing the writing, production and arrangements. Now she is in a year hiatus from performing, but she wanted to play again, just for fun and not so serious, plus some serious as well as fun. So Mirah made a plan: She generously offered up her songs themselves and asked for the participation of the people around her. In this hot air balloon ride of remixes, Mirah lifts off with old friends and new ones, taking off without quite knowing where the landing might be. With so many music-smart friends at the controls, Joyride: Remixes is an experiment for Mirah in not being the only one in charge. It is an experiment in floating free through the clouds, sharing, giving away and opening presents at the same time.
Something gentle this way comes in the form of Mirah and her third full-length album, C’mon Miracle (KLP160). Many hands lent themselves, strumming autoharps and bowing strings, accompanying the lilting, soaring voice that can not be mistaken. Mirah’s whole new batch of songs stands solid and un-afraid; pianos and drums, truth and protest. If her first album, you think it’s like this but really it’s like this (KLP112) snuck up and surprised you, then her second album Advisory Committee (KLP135) stunned you with cannon fire. Now sit back and relax as C’mon Miracle washes over you and etches its subtle ways into your psyche. Mirah recorded most of C’mon Miracle at Dub Narcotic studio with Phil Elverum and Calvin Johnson. Lori Goldston (of The Black Cat Orchestra), Emily Kingan (of The Haggard and Sextional), Khaela Maricich (The Blow), Aaron Hartman (Old Time Relijun), Jason Anderson (Wolf Colonel) and Nora Davidson and Themba Lewis (of Liarbird) are among the other players and helpmates who knew just how to coax the right sounds out of Olympia’s late summer and make this album such a whirl of audio pleasure. Two of the songs here were recorded in a flurry of necessity under the hot Argentinian sun with Bryce Panic (former Old Time Relijun drummer), making controlled patterns of delight and filling out the album’s unshakeable honesty. The combination is always special, never veering from the realm of Mirah sounds. They’re the best type! And here’s a whole album filled, so C’mon Miracle and get into it.
Both avid adventurists and music-makers, Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn and Ginger Brooks Takahashi, a scant three months into their friendship, proposed this idyllic project to each other; to surround themselves with instruments and recording equipment for one month in a town where neither lived. No distractions. Securing the use of a friend’s grandmother's empty home in the cradle of the Blue Ridge Mountains, they awaited September. More of an experience documented than a traditional album, Songs from the Black Mountain Music Project is a tribute to the lush of late summer, the ardor of autumn and the persistence of the garden across the street. Visits were paid by invited friends, seven in all, who each appear on the album, some performing their own songs, some accompanying on songs written during the month. The project was recorded in September 2002 in Black Mountain, North Carolina on a Tascam cassette 4-track and a mini-disc recorder. Beneficiaries of the proceeds from the album are the Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, Oregon (www.girlsrockcamp.org) and The Pentridge Children’s Garden in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Advisory Committee was produced by Mirah on her own and with Phil Elvrum (the Microphones) at Dub Narcotic studio. This time around they have pushed themselves far beyond what even they thought capable to create a truly stunning, innovative and expressive piece of work that reverberates softly through the soul of all who hear it. Advisory Committee.Mirah’s first album, You Think Its Like This but Really Its Like This (KLP112) caught a lot of people off guard. Her power lies in steeping the feelings that motivate her, simmering and condensing them, encased in herself. She then creates a tender space where the listener can really be touched by this potency she sends out as a deliciously seductive, complexly sculpted lullabye, honest and true.The fourteen songs which construct Advisory Committee swell with detail, orchestration and variance. From the first song (also released as a single, IPU100), it is evident that Advisory Committee is not your average songstress’ solo affair. “Cold Cold Water” is charged and lushly layered, with an arrangement that utilizes a string section, tympani, galloping percussive highlights, pump organ, haunting chamber vocals and of course Mirah’s inimitable soaring voice. ”Cold Cold Water” is of cinematic proportions, as vivid and intricate as any classic movie theme song ever penned. What follows is as epic if not as grandiose. Mirah unveils each song drawing from a varied palette of instrumentation and arrangement. On top of it all are Mirah’s vocals, blanketing her songs with a soft, smoldering glow.
Culled from the new Mirah album Advisory Committee (KLP135), “Cold, Cold Water” is the magnificently orchestrated epic that includes chorus, strings, timpani and all, produced with the help of Phil Elvrum (Microphones). There are several non-album songs added, recorded starkly with just acoustic guitar and Mirah’s enchanting voice, including a stripped-down version of “Cold, Cold Water”. There are also bonus bits and pieces of the orchestration of the title track. Cover painting by Khaela Marricich (Get the Hell Out of the Way of the Volcano).
It’s like this: Mirah writes and sings the songs that mean the mostest.She looks like a valentine. She sings like the valentine of all time first prize. Her power lies in steeping the feelings that motivate her, simmering and condensing them, encased in herself. Then she creates a rich, tender space where the listener can really be touched by this dense, potent package she sends directly to them in a deliciously seductive, complexly sculpted lullabye, honest and true.Her finger picking is nice.Did you ever notice how she leans her front foot on her back foot?She don’t miss no notes.People love her, they are surprised music can be this good.It’s like this: Mirah will rock you into soft oblivion.Produced at Dub Narcotic Studios by Phil Elvrum (the Microphones) and on secret bedroom 4-track by Mirah herself.