Mirah Advisory Committee

[K; 2001]

Styles: singer-songwriter, indie-rock
Others: Phil Elverum, Emily Kingan, Calvin Johnson

Have you ever heard of a health item called "nut milk"? Neither had I until researching the artist simply known as Mirah. Actually her full name is Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn, which is just as interesting as the rest of her livelihood. She is best known for playing guitar and contributing vocals to The Microphones. She creates and sales “nut milk” (I have no idea what this is, nor do I want to), along with running an eatery (The Red Bull Café), out of her apartment to supplement her income. Raised among a post-hippie family (born on a kitchen table), Mirah demonstrates her eclectic lifestyle through her solo project.

Mirah should be basking in the glow of her own light as the next darling at K Records. After listening to an advanced copy of Advisory Committee (due out March 5th), I realized that as a whole, she is incomparable to any other artist in her genre. Some say her lyrics are reminiscent of Liz Phair and her sound is lo-fi. But she’s much more than that.

Upon hearing "Cold, Cold Water" (track one), I am reminded by the sweeping palate of instruments and orchestral sounds of a Bjork song. But going on to track after track, I find that she offers the listener something very different in every song. "Recommendation" (track five) brings me back to my innocent grade school days of roller-skating around the rink of my local "Skate 'n' Space," spying on my crush of the week. "Special Death" (track nine) has a certain haunting feel to it, with Mirah sounding eerily like Cat Power’s Chan Marshall, strumming along on her guitar. The song ends with an accordion solo giving it that special nostalgic Marlene Dietrich feel. All these songs flow with an easy, laid back style. I can imagine myself rocking on my grandmother’s porch while taking in the sunset over the small pond in her backyard while the lyrics flow through my head before I fall asleep.

This was the first time I had ever heard the name Mirah. Her sophomore album is both diverse and intelligent. I am curious to see how her last LP compares to this one. Mirah definitely has a talent that cannot be easily defined. Attempting to associate her with other artists is extremely tricky. Each track can be related to another performer, never really being able to peg it down to one or three. Mirah will definitely have a bright future in the coming years.

1. Cold Cold Water
2. After You Left
3. Make It Hot
4. Mt. St. Helens
5. Recommendation
6. Body Below
7. The Sun
8. Advisory Committee
9. Special Death
10. The Garden
11. Light the Match
12. Apples in the Trees
13. Monument