The first song on Miwa Gemini’s new record, “Picnic,” is a somewhat creepy song that brings to mind Tom Waits (but with a better singer) and Bjork (but with more linear songwriting). After all that quiet longing, the record transports us to barroom blues/country, with “Traveling Man” (“My man’s a traveling man/He don’t tell me where he’s been/But it’s not hard to find out where he’s been/He leaves a trail of broken hearts”). Right after that comes “Something Ordinary:” A sad, old-style ballad. And I’m thinking, “Who is this chick?”
Miwa is a fisherman’s daughter from a tiny island off of Japan.
Most of her record is just her singing with her guitar, with easy drumming in the background, and yet it sounds so full you’d swear there was more behind her. Yes, it’s well produced, but it’s not just studio magic that’s at work here. Miwa’s voice is amazing, as is her songwriting. Check out the banjo on “Pieces,” for example, or the guitar/piano interplay on “Forever For Never,” and I predict you’ll be hooked.
Her new album is on Canada’s Addictive Records.