We’ve been fan of Mirah coming up on two decades now, and she continues to impress us with each new release. Though she’s more than capable as a solo performer, Mirah (born Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn in MAGNET’s hometown of Philadelphia) also thrives on collaboration, having worked with the likes of Tune-Yards, Phil Elvrum (Mt. Eerie), Thao Nguyen (Thao & The Get Down Stay Down), Calvin Johnson (Beat Happening) and Jherek Bischoff. On album number six, Understanding (out September 7 on Mirah’s Absolute Magnitude label), she joined forces with Eli Crews (Tune-Yards, Julie Ruin) and Greg Saunier (Deerhoof)—only after recording demos on her own in a former army-barracks gymnasium in the Bay Area. Mirah then took these raw, vocals, guitar, organ and percussion tracks to a studio in her hometown of Brooklyn with Crews and Saunier, who pushed the sonic boundaries of her songs, helping to create Mirah’s most ambitious piece of work to date.
While this process had a huge impact on the 10 tracks that make up Understanding, for Mirah, this album reminds her of the time she spent alone writing and recording the initial tracks. Take, for example, the song “Lighthouse,” which features Saunier. Says Mirach of the track, “This song is about the experience of immersing myself in a new place while also missing home. I wrote and recorded the basic tracks for ‘Lighthouse’ while I was at a residency at Headlands Center For The Arts outside of San Francisco. I loved it there immediately. The landscape was so expansive, the hilltops I could climb to look out at the water. There was a solitude and focus that I could plug right into … I biked into the city to get myself a disco ball, and I would move it around to different spots in my studio to catch the sun at different angles throughout the day. It was pretty magical … Every time I play this song, I can see my time there so vividly.”
We’re proud to premiere “Lighthouse” today on magnetmagzine.com. Check it out now, and catch Mirch on tour in September (dates below).
9/8 Seattle, Ballard Homestead
9/9 Olympia, WA, Capitol Theater
9/10 Portland, Mississippi Studios
9/12 Arcata, CA, The Sanctuary
9/13 San Francisco, Cafe Du Nord
9/16 Los Angeles, The Echo