Miwagemini

This Is How I Found You

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The gap between the kind of burnt and unsettled sounds given the label "acid folk," however inappropriate that might be as a term, and the darker corners of another putative genre, "Americana," isn't as distant as all that -- either way, there's a fascination among many artists with sometimes spare, often stark songs that can range from moodily doomy to fragile and beautiful, armed with little more than an acoustic guitar, some murky echo, and a sense for the quietly dramatic. This all by way of introduction for Miwagemini's album -- if at points she can almost sound like a female equivalent to someone like Devendra Banhart (she certainly shares his fascination with the dramatics of singing, if not specifically the same sound), she has her own elegant fusion of styles, ranging from the elaborate cabaret act of the Dresden Dolls to the haunted power of the Cranes, refracted through the lens of backwoods acoustic blues and folk. The end result can often be very formal, bespeaking a certain self-consciousness that doesn't overwhelm the songs, happily -- "Picnic" and "Something Ordinary" being two good examples -- but she throws in enough curveballs so that the album can't entirely be predicted, whether it's in the combination of spooky keyboards and twitching guitar on "Room of You" or her vocal trills on "Pieces."

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