Graduation schmaduation! Spend this Saturday watching some experimental indie-pop at Gabe’s with Mirah. She’ll be performing alongside North Carolina’s Loamlands and Seattle’s Led to Sea, starting at 8 p.m.
Mirah got her start playing in the Olympia, Washington music scene where she made DIY pop music on a four-track, with broken drum machines, guitars and ukuleles, all blanketed with reverb and hiss. Her early records focused on her twee, childlike vocals, juxtaposed with frank lyrics about sexuality. Her intentionally naive approach to production and songwriting, along with other idiosyncratic artists like The Microphones and Old Time Relijun, signaled a renaissance of sorts for the famed Olympia-based K Records in the late ‘90s.
Though she’s a brilliant songwriter, Mirah’s real genius might be in her ability to select collaborators. Her break-out record, 2002’s Advisory Committee, was recorded and produced by Phil Elverum (of The Microphones and Mount Eerie). With Elverum’s woolly and wide-scope production, Mirah’s beguiling and simple songs reached a powerful grandeur. PopMatters once compared the pairing of Elverum and Mirah to legendary producer-artist duos like Jay-Z and Kanye or Butch Vig and Kurt Cobain.
Then there was her collaboration with Thao Nguyen, appropriately entitled Thao & Mirah, in which the two artists made exactly the kind of record everybody figured they would make together (which is definitely a compliment). The self-titled album was produced by Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards, too, so add her to the list of amazing collaborators.
Though her records have become more complex and polished, Mirah’s enthusiasm to simply make music with her friends is still the defining element within her career. Her live show is sure to capture that same enthusiasm.