Tuesday, May 19, 2015

MP3 Review: Holly Miranda "Holly Miranda" (Dangerbird Records)

One reason why I try to stay away from music I need to listen to on compact disc or digitally (I don't have a name for the music that is only released digitally and on compact disc but then sometimes also on record, the type that you would find overpriced at Barnes and Noble, but it's between "mainstream" and "college radio") is because sometimes it just follows every terrible cliche in the book.   On her self-titled album though, Holly Miranda seems to exemplify what are those cliches that make me cringe and turn them all around, as this album becomes in many ways the opposite of everything that is cliche which I do not like about music (And, yes, that is my backwards way of saying that I like this)

What opens with FNL guitars, bells shaking and Robin Kirby-like vocals is both melodic and somber.    Some distorted guitar chords and horns do end the first song, just to show that each piece is taken as a work of art in its own right and not just a series of verse-chorus-verse.    Right away in the second song there is an f-bomb so this might not be the friendly radio hit I thought but there are also moments in the following songs which cross between dreamy and trippy.   Really though, however you describe or compare this album it is simply full of beautiful melodies.

Not afraid to use a drum machine or piano, the songs begin to blur the lines between Anna Nalick, Polly Scattergood and Metric for me, which happen to be three of my favorite all-time artists and so I feel like Holly Miranda is quickly headed into that rotation as well.    "Whatever You Want" has a great hook in it, if you're looking for a radio single, but my favorite line throughout this album is still "Once you see the light it's so hard to live in the dark".    "Desert Call" is also just a fine representation of this sound overall as it is slower, but it also soulful with a somewhat psychedelic guitar riff in the verses and then baritone sax in the chorus.

While I'm not entirely certain what lead me to listen to this Holly Miranda album I must admit that I am certainly glad that I did.   This has "album of the year" written all over it and what's more so is that it is a collection of songs I plan on enjoying for a long time to come.

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