Mirah Tonight

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It was a long time ago when I met Mirah and got to hear her make her music, in fact it was ten years ago, and she was turning 30. Back then she figured, “maybe people will stop thinking I’m 15, and start thinking I’m 20 or something.”

A few years, a few songs (and albums) down the road and she still looks like she could be 20-something, but her songs have an honesty and maturity that show how much she’s grown. She unleashed a new record this year, on her own label (also new), a division of K Records. It’s good, deep and honest work. Listen.

You’ll get a chance to hear some of her songs tonight, Monday, Nov. 10, at The Sanctuary, with Ruby Fray (“dark psych folk”) from Austin, and local boy Matt Summers (aka Blood Orphans). The Sanctuary is at 1301 J St. right by a turnaround. Doors are at 7 pm, music at 7:30. Be there.

Here’s a song from her record:

And here’s what K has to say about Changing Light:

Changing Light is Mirah‘s fifth solo album and the debut release on her new imprint, Absolute Magnitude Recordings.

Mirah wrote Changing Light in the years-long aftermath of a punishing breakup. Maybe it’s the amount of time it took for the material to gestate, or maybe it’s the thoughtfulness and patience gleaned from a nearly 20-year career, but Changing Light keeps looking at her ache from wise angles. Nervy and sonically inventive in spots, tender and graceful in others, it’s a breakup record that eschews childish outbursts and pointless wallowing.

“So this is anger / I’ve never known her,” Mirah sings in the album-opening “Goat Shepherd.” That line sums up much of what makes Changing Light resonate: It assesses unfamiliar emotions and bruising circumstances through the prism of a worldview that’s never made much room for petty meanness. The hurt feels more real this way, the anger channeled via disappointed seething rather than furniture-flinging catharsis.

Along the way, Mirah — who recorded the album piecemeal in spots scattered across the country — recruited musical assistance from Mary Timony, Jherek Bischoff, and members of Deerhoof and tUnE-yArDs, among others. All give her ample breathing space, with plenty of room left over for hollowed-out resignation (“Fleet Foot Ghost”) as Mirah works her way past “24th St.,” which stands out for the way it recasts its narrator as an aggressor who dishes out emotional punishment rather than absorbing it. But Changing Light, like the singer herself, keeps returning to the right place: a spot where pain is examined as a means of achieving perspective, rather than an end unto itself.

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