Review Summary: Another day, another indie dream pop record courtesy of Mihra.
Girl and Her Symbols is an album about dreams. The music itself reflects passages of dreams through dreamlike qualities and presentation, however Mihra’s approach to indie dream pop is the incorporation of RnB elements towards the standard, traditional, nearly tried and true indie sound that the likes of many Australian indie bands. You can catch shades of synth-pop reminiscent of Tame Impala’s work from Lonerism and Currents on perhaps the most exciting track on here; New Horizon. The track has a very slick groove to it as a story is told about a party in which this ‘person’ or ‘character’ (most likely keyboardist/singer Chevon) is placed into by one of her many dreams.
Then there’s nearly an 80’s throwback with DMX drum-machine toms and hairy synths and chime like E-pianos on House. Mihra even dabble in nightmares in Fences Pt2 with Pink Floyd On The Run-esque wind and tunnel effects before doing a pretty cute rendition of ‘mean guitars,’ fit with some roller-coaster screaming vocals and pitched down vocals that are meant to be that of the demonic, menacing sort.
If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, you could maybe find enjoyment from Violent Violet that sounds like a near piano rock nursery rhyme before breaking out into an indie version of a jazz odyssey with a 3/4 groove and drawn out ambient synth passages, possibly the most meditative centrepiece of the record.
At the end of the day however, the only song that leaps out would have to be the closer Gone simply because its a simple piano ballad and the only break from the 8 track streak of indie numbers. I also cannot tell if the running thread of this record comes at the detriment of these songs, or if it ultimately elevates them. The dream concept seems to sequence songs in a way that I can’t tell if the album plays down the distinctive personality of the individual songs, or if the songs themselves aren’t ever trying to be highlights in fear they’ll throw off this flattened out balancing act of streamlined quality the album runs from start to finish.
However, what completely baffles me the most about this record is (and not sure if this is Apple Music only) that there’s always a second long dead silence at the end of every track that becomes the most interjecting error as CLEARLY the entire album is meant to flow as one seamless listen. Did this technical error not go noticed in the final assembly and upload" Because if not, it definitely comes at a hindrance to this record.
Ultimately, Girl and Her Symbols is a very inoffensive listen, with an attempt to be as smooth as possible nearly at the detriment of itself as mixes are dulled with reverb and tracks cleansed of any abnormalities. While RnB and indie rock arguably has always suffered the same old treatment just like much of their contemporaries, Girl and Her Symbols sits as another perfectly decent listen of good, great and questionable songs that rolls over the ears without much physical or emotional punch and becomes less discernible than that of the very large and ever growing pool of indie releases.
Listen to single New Horizon here: