Changing Light (CD)


Mirah

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Amoeba Review

05/12/2014

It’s high time for a new Mirah record. Following her last solo record, 2009’s a(spera), Mirah collaborated with fellow singer/songwriter Thao Nguyen on the fun Thao + Mirah album, but what we’ve been missing are those heartrending songs Mirah pulls out like miniature orchestrations from a music box. Parts of Changing Light bring to mind those albums she made with producer Phil Elverum—“Gold Rush’s” gorgeous Cinemascope production rages like a wildfire while Mirah sings “you still hold me like I’m your girl, and miss the ending of the world,” reminiscent of Mirah’s classic “Cold, Cold Water.” But Changing Light also strips things down a bit. “Goat Shepherd” sees Mirah rocking out over heavy drums (courtesy of Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier), keeping her lo-fi spirit intact with keyboard handclaps and dingey effects thrown on everything as she coos and chants over the proceedings. “24th St.” similarly is a delightful ode to staying true to oneself, with some of Mirah’s most direct lyrics (“Honey I don’t wanna treat you bad, but I’m gonna leave you/ Don’t you think it’s best that you know now?”) and a stomping beat and fuzzed out bass. “Fleetfoot Ghost” meanwhile is a simple folk song with pretty, rustic guitarwork and chimes and electrics whispering softly in the background. “I Am the Garden” is a little corny (pun intended), using the garden metaphor too closely, but it’s hard to argue with its placement in the album, it’s crunchy guitars breaking up the mellower songs. And “No Direction Home” is perfectly orchestrated (working this time with composer Jherek Bischoff), featuring surging synthesizers along with clanging percussion and clarinets as Mirah sings another touching tale of heartbreak. But Changing Light would merely be a solid, if not surprising album, without two of its brightest points: “Oxen Hope” sees Mirah singing with vocoder over a minor-key pop beat that calls to mind a twee “In the Air Tonight,” while “Turn the Heat Off” has the album’s strongest melody and most bittersweet metaphor for a waning relationship. Changing Light sees Mirah with new collaborators and singing of an ending relationship amid somewhat stripped-down environs, but it’s nice to know that as a songwriter and artist, nothing has changed—she’s as strong as ever.



Track Listing



Disc 1 Titles
Artist
Length
1.
Goat Shepherd
Mirah 03:21
2.
Oxen Hope
Mirah 04:11
3.
Turned the Heat Off
Mirah 03:50
4.
Gold Rush
Mirah 05:20
5.
Fleetfoot Ghost
Mirah 04:13
6.
I am the Garden
Mirah 04:43
7.
No Direction Home
Mirah 05:03
8.
24th St
Mirah 04:12
9.
LC
Mirah 03:04
10.
Radiomind
Mirah 05:10

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