Cold Cold Water


Mirah’s first album, You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This, was the toast of Indietown back in 2000, and her heartbreaking, heartbroken, silver voice is all over all The Microphones’ albums. So here she is with a tiny little EP, apparently just to whet our appetites for another full-lengther later this year.

Cold Cold Water consists of the title song in two different versions, two new acoustic songs, and then a whole bunch of outtakes. Big deal, right? Wrong. The “album version” of “Cold Cold Water” is perhaps the greatest song of the young year. It starts with the unassuming cutesy fake-Western lines “I saddled up my pony right / And rode into the ghostly night,” but then bursts into full-on Morricone territory, courtesy of The Microphones’ Phil Elvrum, all swelling strings and tympani, and Mirah’s stinging voice proclaiming, “And it was wide wide open / Wide wide open!” This is all before the song is 20 seconds old, but it goes on for another five minutes to describe a rollicking allegory about finding love and losing love and how love is like cold cold water in the desert — and dammit, she’s right. (It’s also got some serious gender-issue overtones, but that issue is never stated out loud, so maybe I’m just guessing.) The sound is perfect, the lyrics are introspective and wonderful (“Oh the West can be a desperate place / You search all day for just a taste“), and everything is kick-ass all around. Strangely, it’s more effective than the acoustic version that pops up later.

The two other songs have a hard time living up to “Cold Cold Water,” but they’re quietly effective in their own ways. “Apples in the Trees” manages to be propulsive, sad, defiant, and empowering in less than two minutes, and “Make It Hot” is just flat-out sex on disc: “Make it hot / Take me over and over and over.” Whew.

The whole thing ends with some Jackie Chan-style snippets from Elvrum’s orchestration of “Cold Cold Water.” They’re cool but unnecessary, and they don’t really work out of context. Yeah, we all know you’re a whiz in the studio, Phil, but this really should be Mirah’s show. She’s a songwriting talent for real and her voice is persuasive and adorable. Can’t wait for that album.

K Records: http://www.kpunk.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Summerland

    In rural England, a cranky woman bonds with and evacuee boy and uncovers a strange connection to her past.

  • Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations
    Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations

    These geniuses of early comedy finally get the presentation they are due in this Blu-ray edition.

  • Four-Letter Words
    Four-Letter Words

    No need to worry about offending delicate sensibilities with this playlist. We’re not talking about profanity, so just take the title at face value.

  • A Genesis In My Bed
    A Genesis In My Bed

    Former Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett shares his life story in his story in an engaging and honest memoir. Reading his story feels like hanging out with a friend who’s interested in sharing how he felt living these experiences.

  • The Jayhawks
    The Jayhawks

    XOXO (Sham/Thirty Tigers). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • 18 to Party
    18 to Party

    When you’re in 8th grade, sneaking into a bar is way cooler than it is when you’re 40.

  • Adam

    A pregnant woman finds a home in Casablanca.

  • 2020 on Fire
    2020 on Fire

    Sound Salvation takes on current events with a playlist addressing the current fight for racial and social justice in America and the battles playing out in the streets in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd.

  • Pokey Lafarge
    Pokey Lafarge

    Rock Bottom Rhapsody (New West Records). Review by Jeremy Glazier.

  • Landfall

    Cecilia Aldarondo takes a look at Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.

From the Archives