The harder you listen to Mira, the deeper you fall for them. Maybe it’s Regina Sosinski’s spellbindingly gorgeous voice, feeling like the name of heaven in your ears or the irresistible demon of ecstasy dancing in your bones. Or the shimmering shoegazer guitars, building to a feedback-frenzied roar, then ebbing to the echo of a ringing whisper left behind in an empty room. Or maybe it’s the incredible intensity of the group as a whole, words and music blurring together in your staggered mind, leaving you with a total mystery too painfully beautiful to solve.
Whatever it is, once you’ve heard Mira, there’s no going back. Apart is even better than their self-titled debut (released on Projekt last year), which I thought was pretty amazing. There’s not a bad track on this album; indeed, once you’re submerged in Mira’s world, it’s hard to tell where one track ends and the next nightmare dream begins. The opening “Space” is as good a place to start as any. Quiet electronics begin the piece, then the drums crash in, bass rumbles beneath, and guitars feed back, then explode in cascades of brilliance washing over everything, notes trickling down like silvery rain. Regina’s voice comes in lovely and fragile, and everything else hushes for a moment; but even when the music roars back in full riot, Regina’s voice floats free and crystal clear above it, remembering the regrets of the past, and wondering if the vast cold space stretching ahead to tomorrow will make things any different.
Throughout this album, the guitar work just blows me away. On “Going Nowhere,” the guitars muse, meander, and wander everywhere and nowhere, like lost souls looking for themselves on every rain-washed city street, but finding only empty sidewalks and oily puddles. And on “Stainless,” they start out ringing hypnotically, then slip into an all-out assault on your senses, marking you from head to toe with the indelible stains you know are there, even if no one else can see them.
Bottom line: buy this album. But don’t expect to get it out of your head anytime soon.