This Is How I Found You
New York-based chanteuse Miwa Gemini is one of those increasingly rare singer-songwriters who don’t bug the living shit out of me and/or go hellbent for leather for the snoozeriffic Borders/Starbucks marketshare — the heart is concealed under a black chiffon sleeve clasped with an antique ivory brooch, the lyrics are more akin to Carson McCullers than a dog-eared diary, and the instrumentation is woozy and elliptical enough to intrigue, if not entrance. She spins a sound equal parts olde-timey country/blues chanteuse (think Patsy, Polly, or Tammy) and a rollicking rockabilly Poison Ivy scratch with a dizzy, disorienting performing style that shares space with CocoRosie and Helium when they were terrifying.
This Is How I Found You is an album that sounds time-capsule ancient, like a bootleg recording of a Grand Ole Opry radio broadcast — warm and intimate and analogue and whole, with the seductive swagger and swing that can only come from live performance. Gemini herself possesses an original set of pipes that veer from girlishly cloying (“”Forever For Never”), to spacecase eerie (“Picnic”), to a strong and assured bluesy belt (“Traveling Man”), or perhaps all three and a clear trill to boot (“Angel’s Prayer”). Gemini and her associates (chief among them for this album is drummer Brian Lackey) create a sparse country torch sound, with a dark underside of loose-limbed shake and shimmy, with just enough detours into dirty countrypunk rumble to keep the whole affair fresh.
Perhaps the American answer to To Bring You My Love? Hmmmm. Almost, not quite yet. I need more to go on. But here’s to good starts.
Rock Park Records: www.rockparkrecords.com
Miwa Gemini: www.miwagemini.com