Sunday, June 12, 2011

Making Music in a Brand New Cowboy Hat

Japanese-born, classically trained Miwa Gemini makes music that is unquestionably steeped in Americana. She currently resides in Brooklyn where she picked up her distinct semi-hollow body guitar “Polly” in a second hand shop. Since the naught years, Brooklyn has become an indie hub of sorts with a full spectrum of music – ranging from all-keyboard driven wispy pop in Williamsburg to late-night bluegrass sessions in Red Hook. The latter being something that Miwa and her roots sourced music would fit more comfortably.

Miwa’s latest recording Fantastic Lies of Grizzly Rose is a concept album that weaves whimsical stories as told by the artist in a haunting, slightly accented voice. The music is timeless and captivating. The images and actions of little Grizzly Rose are told in plaintive fashion. One can imagine this character living in American folklore for centuries. In track five, Pioneertown Love Story, “a man with a storm in his eyes” asks “Why they call you Grizzly Rose?” and she replies “I will try to bite off anybody’s head if they come close enough, I will trust no one.” While English is her second language, Miwa beautifully created fanciful lyrics reminiscent of Edward Lear or Edward Gorey.

Listen closely for lyrics here with three tracks from her new album (courtesy of the artist and Rockport Records).

The artist who created the beautiful album cover is Clémence Josseau who also co-wrote the last track Chanson. Players on the album include Aaron Burns (accordion and glockenspiel) and Matt Brundrett (percussion) among others.

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