Recommendation: Mirah’s (A)Spera

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1. Generosity (3:44)
2. The World Is Falling Apart (5:00)
3. Education (5:18)
4. Shells (2:32)
5. Country of the Future (3:35)
6. The Forest (3:30)
7. Gone Are the Days (3:41)
8. The River (7:49)
9. Bones & Skin (3:12)
10. While We Have the Sun (4:41)

Over the last year Mirah has become one of my favorite artists. I find her lyrics sweetly impressive and clever. I think her lo-fi idiom is solid, well-practiced, but never boring. She mixes her troubadorial guitar with instrumental choices that might otherwise be surprising if you were listening to any other singer-songwriter. “The Forest” (off of (A)Spera) shows off a tight horn section with a military flavor; “Shells” is carried by a light, arpeggiated dulcimer (one of my favorite sounds in the world); “While We Have the Sun” unfolds over a thumb piano loop (thumb piano!), dulcimer (!!), and layered vocals. The overall scope of her records shows a positive correlation between her creative bravery and the progression of time.

Her newest album (A)Spera came out about a week ago and marks her first release of new material since 2004. It highlights all of her abilities as a musician, lyricist, and songwriter, furthering her arc of successful artistic projects. If you’re already a listener, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re not, now would be a good time to change that.

A well-written review of (A)Spera can be found here. Give her opening track a listen. And to all you folks lucky enough to live in Portland (her chosen artistic base), she’ll be playing the Aladdin Theater on the 4th of April. See you there.

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