If you’re looking for a hauntingly lush sound to carry you through the fall, look no further than our latest Bushwick Music Crush, Holly Miranda. With her blend of echoing vocals, weeping guitar strings, and trance-like choruses, Holly’s music packs a Cat Power-like punch. We caught her fantastic live set a few weeks ago at The Knitting Factory.
Upon Miranda’s gracing the stage, the sprawling venue was transported to a heavily wooded, shimmering terrain where tree branches snapped and lonely owls hooted. We watched the audience rub away collective goosebumps multiple times throughout the performance. Maybe it was the early winter winds drifting through the double doors – or perhaps it was newcomer Holly Miranda’s ability to enchant us with her song and remind us of our own hidden fears: Solitariness. Unrequited love. Brokenness.
“…and in between there’s always someone
they don’t get you, but you reach and smile”
Labeling Miranda as a “newcomer” is with affection, as this starlet’s journey launched way before her 2010 debut, The Magician’s Private Library. Like a magician herself, Holly vanished from her hometown of Detroit, escaped a failed major record deal at age 17, rocked out in her former group The Jealous Girlfriends, and landed on two strong feet as a Brooklyn-based solo artist.
Despite the lonely beauty of Holly Miranda’s sound, threads of hope burst through. Layers of a warm saxophone played by Maria Eisen, patterings of drums by Dylan Fussilo, bass by Sharron Sulami, guitar by Tim Mislock, and collective, reassuring backup vocals wove together a solid foundation. The woozy, heart-drumming tempos were constant, with welcome flourishes of sleigh bells on “Desert Call.” The blend of strong vocals and emotive instruments paints a loneliness comparable to Sharon Van Etten or Dark Dark Dark – but Holly’s dominant, fiery falsetto separates her from the pack; it’s hard to take your eyes off her during a performance for fear of falling from her grace.
Her most recent work, two singles, both of which were produced by Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio, Santigold, CSS) , were released in October 2013, are a revival of her music. “Everlasting” is a downtempo classic, featuring her hypnotic vocals winding into a ecstatic epiphany, while “Desert Call” goes deeper, forcing listeners to dig deep into the dark side of their hearts. Whatever patches you have stitched over former love battle wounds – prepare to have them torn open and exposed. It’s a beautifully, masochistic experience.
The thing about good music is that it makes you feel. The thing about great music is that it assures you you’re not feeling it alone. One glance around a blue lit room during Holly Miranda’s performance of her latest single, “Desert Call,” and you know you are sharing in something spectacular. Catch Holly next time she’s in town – we’ll keep you posted.