Welcome to yet another album I have taken an absolute age to review. I think that’s because there’s about two thirds of a really good record here, although it tails off quite badly towards the end. The first five songs, however, are terrific. A sort of mysterious mixture between Portishead, Paris Motel and Jolie Holland, it’s a bit difficult to find out much about her on the internets. It’s all parable and allegory, which sort of fits the aesthetic of the album itself, which is suffused with hushed, fairytale beauty.
In many ways the slightly spooky carnival take on lounge jazz is about as close a description as I’ll manage, but the magical air of the music and her slightly odd accent make this a little special, at its best. I think Miwa is a transplanted Japanese currently living in New York, but I’m really not sure – it’s quite hard to dig up any biographical details. Her album has only been released in Canada so far, but that should hopefully be remedied shortly.
Certain tracks, like Travelling Man and the entirely forgettable Crazy Over You really do not make the cut, and oddly both seem to be the more electric guitar-heavy numbers. They are bog-standard garage blues, with little bite and really not much to distinguish them. The best stuff is just plain magical though. So you see why I prevaricated a little about reviewing this album: catch the right half dozen songs and you’ll be rather impressed; the wrong ones, on the other hand, will leave you wondering what on Earth I am thinking. So much to love though, which is better than most folk can manage.
Miwa Gemini – Pieces
Miwa Gemini – Forever For Never