Review Summary: Charming indie-pop with a dark twist.
Considering the steady flow of "charming" female indie-pop artists moving in and out of the scene, it's probably pretty easy to overlook Mirah, a relative veteran of the scene, who has been consistently putting out cute yet subtly menacing releases since her 1997 debut EP, Storageland
. Most of the album has simple songwriting, from the melancholy string-plucking of opener "Nobody Has to Stay" to sweetly minimal closer "Exactly Where We're From". This isn't to say the album lacks depth, however: much of the album is also quite a bit more intricate than what is revealed on first listen, thanks in part to the production of Phil Elvrum (of The Microphones and Mount Eerie). Elvrum's fingerprints are all over the album, from the pounding, distorted drums of rocker "The Light" to the trembling horns that emphasize Mirah's whispery regrets on "We're Both So Sorry" ("I know you didn't mean it and you're sorry that I left / I'll go right on pretending i've got nothing to regret"). It's Elvrum that provides most of the aforementioned "menacing" mood seen here, and his influence is what allows the album to set itself apart from the rest of Mirah's ilk.
Of course, this isn't to discredit Mirah, who has a sweet voice that makes anything she says sound like an innocent confession, even when she's giving moral lessons ("Jerusalem") or referencing her trip to Argentina, which supposedly influenced the direction of the album ("The Dogs of B.A."). Plus, her songwriting is more than competent, administering a healthy balance of simple pop songs and more "experimental" tracks. Some tracks fail to produce enough interesting melodies or hooks throughout their running time, but there's more than enough pleasure here to allow the listener to look over some of the less worthy songs.
Though, with so much excellent indie-pop out there, it may not seem like a necessary listen, C'mon Miracle
is an impressive listen that shouldn't be overlooked by anyone who takes a liking toward simple pop music that isn't afraid to go the extra mile and meet its listener somewhere between old and new, accessible and experimental.