There’s a theory I hear quite a bit, where an artist can only stay within their genre. While that’s a nice sentiment, in the last decade many who pay attention will notice that technology has helped artists evolve well outside where they originated. Sometimes it’s for the worst. However with Texas’ MIEARS, the evolution is for the better. On the producer’s new full length Hanging On, she sheds her electro-pop past for a more realized sound. The end result is the beginning of an artist leaving the past behind, in favor for something more pronounced and intimate.
The opening track “Just Be With Me” immediately draws your attention. The stark and striking mix of vocals and synths that mix with beat clusters envelops into a sound that’s dark but not heavily layered. There’s so much happening though, that lapse of layer messes with your head. The production here is the best of MIEARS career, digging into multiple waves of tone to generate a universal color. This plays throughout the ten tracks that make up the album.
Where “Hiding in the Dark” has echoes of seventies and eighties electronica, the sound here is all new. The infectious pacing that cultivates with the synths gives way to an almost revolutionary timbre. In fact, that multifaceted mix of astral vocals and minimalist tonality continues in each track. “Give Up and Go” has these vocals that create their own beat, “Oh How” graces itself with Andy Bell synths and Tycho beats and “On My Mind” stirs between haunting vocals and an effected air of character not often found within modern electronic music.
But as the album is lush with production that places the artist on a higher level, it’s the way that the songs hit your ears. Few here go for the throat but rather build themselves through chord progressions and techniques that have their own universe. Of the ten, it was hard not to fall hardest for “Creep.” The intimate portrait that gets painted among the dark synths and thunderous beats comes from the vocals that sound like strands of warm air. The song washes over you and changes what you may think about electronic music, or at least how you interact with it. But what appears to be occurring here is that electronica is just the vehicle for MIEARS to create music like no one else, something it feels like she was born to do.
Hanging On is available for physical purchase directly from Bandcamp. It’s available to stream on all platforms and it can be purchased in all digital outlets. MIEARS will appear at Top Ten Records in Dallas, TX on March 06.
Image Credits: Photo by Daniel Jackson.