“words just don't capture the raw emotional power of the album to suck you in and spit you out, staggering in wonder.” - ink19
hey i'm gonna keep on going / no more fighting what i am now / can't go back now / sad eyes lovely still
signs of life around my eyes / would i do things different now / would i be more free inside / healing everything
it's all okay / hold on till you know your way
apart tears at the edges, pulling mira’s sound apart to recompose it into something new, delicate, touching, aggressive and surprisingly accessible. apart combines dreamy shoegazer pop with edgier angular guitars and rhythms; all in support of regina sosinski’s ethereal soprano, which speaks with a yearning and intimacy so beautiful, it is subtly unnerving. drifting from the slightest whisper to an aching scream, her voice is nothing less than captivating.
apart tells the story of heartache, loss and the unending desire to mend one's heart, to find a sense of connection. regina writes "the title is so fitting in so many ways . . . for me, personally . . . and for the band as a whole. it’s the constant struggle of wanting / needing to be a part of something, but feeling apart from it all as well. i think i forgot how to feel for awhile . . . and that sense of emptiness made me numb. opening back up has been a slow process . . . "
apart hits hard and proves that the brilliance of their debut was no lark. mira’s self-titled debut was projekt's best selling darkwave release of 2000, thanks to in-store listening stations, college radio support and fan buzz generated by their mp3.com and napster success. fans are already excited about apart; since early april, mira has had two tracks from apart at the top of the mp3.com shoegazer charts.
apart crashes out of the gate with “space,” a danceable track with dense tribal rhythms and a pounding bass line. mira balances the harder edges with tracks like “plastique,” a sparse duet between classical guitar and vocals that breaks apart to reform itself as a beautiful melancholy waltz, in which regina’s gossamer voice dances alongside a mournful violin.
apart ’s swirling torrents of heavily drenched guitars at times blister and rage, and just as suddenly transform into clean contrapuntal lines. a sense of continuity between the voice and music reveals a great depth, taking the listener through every shade of emotion and leaving them with a spinning head and aching heart.
"it's like you and these tracks have x-ray vision; because they are so perfectly attuned to the way you feel, the subtle minefields of emotion that exist upon the present soundscape belies the extraordinariness of tallahassee's mira. the comparisons to the cranberries are rather unmistakable at first listen and influences that range from slowdive and the cocteau twins to early cardigans span the entire album. you struggle between the bonds of the songs (and your own emotions) around your wrists and the vocal angelics that call you up into the distance." - spin.com
4 stars out of 4 AMG EXPERT REVIEW: Apart is the second full-length from Florida's Mira, an indie pop band that's big on drums, sparkling guitars, catchy songwriting, and gorgeous singing from Regina Sosinski. At a time when rock music has moved away from its center -- the place of longing that prompted Chuck Berry to pen "Maybellene," George Harrison to sing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," Pete Townshend to write "Love Reign O'er Me," Ian Curtis to sing "Love Will Tear Us Apart," the Jesus and Mary Chain to compose the entire Darklands album, Ride to compose their first two glorious LPs, and Polly Harvey to record To Bring You My Love -- Mira seek a place back in the heart of rock and pop. Apart is a compendium of well-crafted songs that aren't afraid to let the guitars blaze while keeping the hooks intact. Tracks like "Going Nowhere" and "In Theory" reflect their introspective themes by repetitive guitar lines and shimmering atmospherics hovering about Sosinski's vocals. The subject matter is dreary and lonely. These songs hurt, but they're far from dark -- they express emotion without wallowing in it. The textures the musicians provide their singer are contrasts she must contend with, compelling her to rise up to the challenge of the subtle yet ever-shifting rhythmic percussion attack and the glissando guitars reaching toward a bliss clearly not reflected in the lyrics. "Open in Silence" is the most hypnotic and sensual track on the record; Sosinski lays herself bare by asking, "How do you feel?" Guitars play inside and on top of one another, single-line riffing it as she emotes, expressing her need in the mist they create. Percussion shifts itself to compensate and underlines the physicality and spiritual manifestations of her longing before the guitars crunch it all home, pulling off the mask and underlining the sensate truth in the lyrics. Mira has moved toward something far more organic, far more seductive, threatening, and honest, and with Apart, its emotionally searing echoes remain long after the music has ceased to play. - Thom Jurek
Overcast and melancholy, just the way we like it. | 7 out of 10 | It would be too easy to describe Mira as what you'd get if you spliced together elements from Cocteau Twins, the Sundays and Starflyer 59. Mira bring their own brand of shoegazing goth to the equation, in many ways picking up where those other bands left off. Adding to the lexicon of doomed love, Regina Sosinki's vocals light the way through the murk of melancholia, nearly rivaling Liz Fraser and Harriet Wheeler both artistically and emotionally. The heady mix of ethereal vocals and rich guitars with unusual rhythms and off-meter inflections makes Apart a distinctive album in its own right. - Mark Burbey
9.2 of 10
| When the shoegazer movement of the early '90s began to sputter out of the public's eyes and ears to sanction the Britpop egoists such as the archetypes in Oasis and their obstinate kin, many waved a regretful goodbye to the auspicious and pseudo revolution that My Bloody Valentine, Ride and Curve once led. As these mesmerizing acts cemented themselves into music history as the founders of the dreampop subversion, it is a true blessing that there is a handful of selectively influenced acts championing this artful approach to audio radicalism and thriving with flourishing neoteric innovation.
Amongst the forerunners in this post-shoegazer era are Mira - an outfit of five Flordians who antagonize their state's trite fun-in-the-sun disposition. Brimming with alluring emotion and lustrous instrumental backdrops is Apart - their most recent album that tingles with enough passion to be connoted worthy of classical denomination. Crowning Apartwith a performance deserving of endless acclamations is Regina Sosinski's voice that glimmers like stars strewn across a somber midnight sky. Teetering on the brink of a pensive plight to a deep melancholic breakdown on such tracks as 'In Theory' and a profusion of other acutely ardent gazers, Regina is poised in her emotional enthrall to litter Apart with the dark side of beauty. While she flutters beneath a blanket of dim skied despondency, Mira's lyrical outreaches also often depict optimism and hopefulness portrayed on the claim staking aural plane that is 'Plastique.'
Tweaking Mira's ethereal assailant on the senses is the sheik effect ridden dreampop layering of dueling guitars. Mira's six stringed introspections of Apart are carved vaguely from the spiraling dissonance that My Bloody Valentine left us in a trademark album of the early '90s, Loveless. However, the luscious swirls of guitar that paint landscapes of celestial beauty on this sophomore evocation are definitively Mira's, as never before has there been a vibrant display of analogously domineering moods in such a desirable medium. Apart wades in a bottomless ocean of dismally drenched rhythms that enchant, bewilder and revitalize all in one consolidated parcel of promising musical endeavors.
The glory of this sophomore effort from Mira is bound to be overlooked by a majority seeking superficially poppy modes. However, Mira's engaging feminine vocal withdrawls and dazzling atmospheric assortment is as accessible as any notable rock outfit. This is beauty so pure and so immaculate that it may actually turn people away because of its honest integrity to the root of human rationale and intellect. Celebrate Apart as a melancholic sparkle in a sea amidst infidelity, for timeless music is becoming more difficult to stumble upon these days and Mira has indeed solidified themselves as a band for the ages juggle. - Ryan Potts
| 4.5 out of 5 | Let Mira take you away from all that is real, insensitive, and mundane in this world. Fans of Portishead should jack-in and spin with one of Projekt's biggest hits ever, Mira. Apart (a full length sophomore release) reflects a four-year progression since their self-titled debut. Mira sets a formidable stage for their next full length release (already in production) with these ten tracks and minimalistic CD inserts. As the title implies, music herein will help set you apart, and like the artwork, allow you to drift to that sometimes dreamy, sometimes chilling, wintery experience of remote isolation beneath the elements. Retrospect reflections, however, may sometimes become distorted when the glass cracks. Soul-searching mood music for a lazy afternoon. - Jett Black
If you were impressed with their debut album, you will not be disappointed with a more mature sound from this excellent goth/shoegaze group's follow-up album. apart is a combination of all the different aspects of shoegaze rock with it's moody lyrics, grinding guitars and of course, the wonderful angelic voice of Regina Sosinski!
Starting off the album is a potential gothic club hit, "space." With it's out-of-this-world sound it really moves you with the catchy rhythm and grinding guitars. But once again, it's Regina's voice that just carries the entire feeling and body of this track. With catchy guitars in the vein of old U2, a very nice tempo and a lot of emotion, it may just leave you too dazed on the dance floor to even dance.
This entire album takes you back and forth through all the different emotions you can experience. From the utter dazed, dreamy feeling as you float through the air of the music to the dark despair of agony and pain in the mournful lyrics. The tempo varies from track to track and the intensity leaves you feeling like you've been on an emotional roller coaster. What an intense feeling. You can't get this feeling unless you really listen to the music, the lyrics and soak in the beautiful voice like soaking in the rays of sun on the beach.
Several songs will carry you through all of these stages I've described above. One of the prime examples of this variation is "in theory." Starting it very slow and mournful, quiet and dreamy it gradually picks up on the intensity. Then towards the end the distorted, grinding guitar kicks off the finale of the song with Regina's voice carrying the thick, moody feeling straight to your heart. Other songs like "green" and "going nowhere" are a little more consistent throughout but still hold you captivated.
I could go on and on describing each song, each feeling, each captivating chord, note and emotion this entire album presents. I just don't think I can do it justice. In comparing it with their previous work, I would have to say their overall sound has improved a bit, showing a little bit more emotion than before. However, I must say that I still have not found an equal to "Cayman." Although several tracks on this album come really close to holding me breathless like that one track does. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed their first album, you will love this one. If you haven't heard mira's spellbinding sound yet, you do not know what you're missing. -Jacob
Proposition: the serious music lover cannot live without internet these days. Proof? Mira, with their second album "Apart". You won't find this in any record store, but the band has been able to develop an enthousiastic following through the Projekt label and their own cyber activities. And rightly so. The lead singer of the band is Regina Sosinski, who with her soft, clear voice sings against thick layers of shoe-gazing guitars, every now and then with rough, razorsharp edges. Although the concept in itself isn't new, Mira have been able to achieve an astounding level. The music is tight and consitant, recognisable, with beautiful intonations and exactly the right amount of diversity. On top of that Mira does not fall into the trap of false sentiments and beguilement like Belgium's K's Choice, or of smoothed out, slick pretention. "Apart" is the most authentic guitar album that has sufaced in recent years. Period.
[Thanks to Sven, for the translation! ]
The harder you listen to Mira, the deeper you fall for them. Maybe it's Regina Sosinski's spellbindingly gorgeous voice, feeling like the name of heaven in your ears or the irresistible demon of ecstasy dancing in your bones. Or the shimmering shoegazer guitars, building to a feedback-frenzied roar, then ebbing to the echo of a ringing whisper left behind in an empty room. Or maybe it's the incredible intensity of the group as a whole, words and music blurring together in your staggered mind, leaving you with a total mystery too painfully beautiful to solve.
Whatever it is, once you've heard Mira, there's no going back. Apart is even better than their self-titled debut (released on Projekt last year), which I thought was pretty amazing. There's not a bad track on this album; indeed, once you're submerged in Mira's world, it's hard to tell where one track ends and the next nightmare dream begins. The opening "Space" is as good a place to start as any. Quiet electronics begin the piece, then the drums crash in, bass rumbles beneath, and guitars feed back, then explode in cascades of brilliance washing over everything, notes trickling down like silvery rain. Regina's voice comes in lovely and fragile, and everything else hushes for a moment; but even when the music roars back in full riot, Regina's voice floats free and crystal clear above it, remembering the regrets of the past, and wondering if the vast cold space stretching ahead to tomorrow will make things any different.
Throughout this album, the guitar work just blows me away. On "Going Nowhere," the guitars muse, meander, and wander everywhere and nowhere, like lost souls looking for themselves on every rain-washed city street, but finding only empty sidewalks and oily puddles. And on "Stainless," they start out ringing hypnotically, then slip into an all-out assault on your senses, marking you from head to toe with the indelible stains you know are there, even if no one else can see them.
Bottom line: buy this album. But don't expect to get it out of your head anytime soon. - Dave Aftandilian
Apart, le deuxième album des américains de Mira, porte bien son nom. S'ouvrant sur un hit sucré et bondissant (Space), il offre ensuite une collection de chansons émouvantes et aériennes. Tantôt portée par des accords cristallins, tantôt soutenue par des guitares gentiment noisy, la voix angélique de Regina Sosinski envoûte et emmène son auditeur dans des contrées nostalgiques. Sensuelle et expressive, en totale symbiose avec la six cordes, elle donne l'ivresse dans la valse hypnotique de Plastique. Malgré la séduction immédiate exercée par Apart, chaque pièce qui la compose ne se livre qu'avec patience, à l'instar de la perle Tick Tock. Mira rappelle Cocteau Twins, le meilleur des Cranberries et surtout les Sundays et n'aurait pas détonné dans l'écurie 4AD des années '80 et '90 (les points de comparaison entre Projekt et le prestigieux label britannique sont d'ailleurs nombreux). Apart distille une atmosphère doucement douloureuse comme un amour qui se termine. Rarement textes et musiques se seront rencontrés avec une telle harmonie car Regina nous conte justement des histoires de ruptures et de déceptions cruelles dont on ne sait si on aimerait être l'acteur - Frédéric Cotton
Listening to Mira is like sitting dead center in the middle of a hurricane. A peaceful tranquility surrounds you yet there also exists a total, whirling chaos, pulling at you from every direction. Get it spinning in your CD player and you will immediately feel its tremendous swirling, magnetic power.
At some point, a writer somewhere coined the term - shoegazer. This was meant to describe a band's sound as being tranceful and intensely guitar layered. Soon after, another writer extended the shoegazer term to - female shoegazer, which meant shoegazer but with ethereal, female vocals on top of the whirling guitars.
Today MediaPlus will extend, on behalf of the band Mira, the shoegazer term once again. The new term is now: shoestare-to-mind-control-levels. Or Mindshoecontrol, for short. What this means exactly is that not only has Mira focused on developing the shoegazer approach towards their music, but they have the ethereal female vocals worked out perfectly too. In fact, they have gone so far beyond the typical female shoegazer type of creation they are now expelling music that is so shoegazingly intense that we honestly believe vocalist, Regina Sosinski, may, in fact, be trying to use mind control on the shoes she is gazing at. It wouldn't surprise us in-the-least to see Mira performing live and to see the band staring at their shoes while their laces fly about and their shoes change colors during the show.
Apart is Mira's second release on Projekt. Their first, self-titled CD, was equally filled with gifted use of Regina's voice and the band's instrument control. Although there are a few new members now, Mira is still a wispy, I'm-singing-like-a-tiny-helpless-young-girl-who-has-lost-her-dog type of band (ala The Sundays or The Moon Seven Times (but with more tranceful guitar melodies). They weave in and out of strong melodic structure and withering guitar works so well that it leaves you daydreaming, fantasizing and thinking of either better tomorrows or yesterdays that might not have gone so well or will be or were tremendously wonderful. Mira is not an inbetweenish type of band but more so, an extreme high or extreme low. That thing smiling in the middle, is you. - David Paul Wyatt Perko
A review from Meltdown Magazine (UK):
(4 out of 5 - genre: darkwave indie/ethereal) Imagine The Cure crossed with Cocteau Twins and you've got Mira. Ice-cold, glass-shattering female vocals piercing through a wall of electric guitars and drums with some darn good, fringe-flopping tunes. Influence-wise, you've obviously got the aformentioned and a good bit of psychedelic rock, some Throwing Muses and maybe a touch of Radiohead? It reminds me of the good indie stuff that hit the UK scene in the latter part of the 80s, early 90s - the stuff that got buried under the debris of E-fuelled trance and the heroin-doused Hacienda produce. It's good to see a band resurrecting it and so successfully modernising it for the 21st century. - Natasha Scharf
PAINFULLY SWEET SHOEGAZER POP: | 4 out of 5 | Mira's sophomore release, Apart, paints a soundscape deep in swirling guitar washes, rumbling bass and drums, splashed with the blissfully sweet soprano voice of Regina Sosinski. Leaping forward with a release much more ambitious than their self-titled Projekt debut, Apart ventures into territory that seemingly justifies its position on the Projekt roster. Not to understate the talent of musicians that solidify Mira, it cannot go without noting that the true highlight of this band is Sosinski's gorgeous voice. Each track becomes a swirling storm of disjointed musical trauma, held glued together only by the heartbroken crooning of her shattered emotional shell. Sosinski's feelings have been hurt, crushed by the loneliness of pain and the sorrow of mistakes made by herself and others. The emotional epics in Apart are bittersweet, ranging from the self-forgiving "Plastique," to the all out rock mayhem of "Space." "Stainless" stands out as a begging for understanding, rising into a crescendo rich in mayhem and fragility. The guitar work on Apart adheres to no strict rule book, meandering in multiple directions, crossing endlessly, reaching for somewhere to go, yet never achieving a final destination. Truly a remarkable album, Apart recreates a sound reminiscent of the heydey of 4AD, prodding the listeners to become nostalgic to the sounds of Cocteau Twins, Lush, and My Bloody Valentine. Apart closes with "Hollow," an emotionally charged song that builds into an aural hurricane, finally dissipating into a calm that leaves you wanting more. - Joseph Graham
Mira uses dreamy melodies, haunting female vocals, and jangling guitars to create a droning guitar-pop sound dark enough to appeal to the goth crowd, yet straight-forward enough for the indie fans. With only its second full-length release, this Tallahassee, Fla. act seems to have tapped into its own bittersweet, lovelorn sound that combines elements of garage rock, ethereal and brilliantly simplistic pop. Overcast without being depressingly so, Apart is the perfect thing to get one through the darker times, adding a touch of angst for good measure. Once you get past the emotional elements, you'll also find that these guys are extremely accomplished individuual musicians. Mira is currently on a national tour that winds up at Atlanta's Echo Lounge on September 6, 2002. - Jonathan Williams
A review from The Guardian (UK):
I first discovered the delights of Mira on mp3.com’s shoegazing chart. Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, USA the band make a type of music more usually associated with British indie bands in the early 90s, influenced primarily by My Bloody Valentine.
Mira are signed to American label Projekt, a label which is most commonly associated with beautifully produced melancholy music, often with a female singer. But Mira play upbeat music, in the musical if not the emotional sense. It is the sort of music for people who like to think about things. They do have a female singer though.
Opening song "Space" has a guitar part spookily reminiscent of early 90s scallies The Farm’s song "The Groovy Train", though the mood is more in keeping with bands of the same era such as Slowdive or Lush. You certainly won’t get Mira imploring to "Get on, get on, the groovy train". "Open In Silence" has guitars like The Cure in their quieter moments, though Mira’s singer, Regina Sosinski, is more like a lucid Alison Shaw of The Cranes than Robert Smith.
Mira aren’t yet treading new ground, their influences are clear, yet on the other hand what they do is so completely different from what is popular at the moment I can’t help but see this album as a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stagnant pop world.
From Heartbreak to Yearning in a Stirring Song This new release brings Mira's energy level up a few notches since their previous work, perhaps leaving their "shoegazer" tag a memory of the past. Guitars are edgier, with certain moody melodies coming to the forefront with emotive, aggressive appeal. Regina's vocals provide an honest, intimate sparkle on every track, a clever blend of highs, whispers, and lulling refrains. Though one might hear certain Cranberries or Cardigans influences, Mira has their own varied sound which sets them apart. Tracks such as "In Theory" and "Green" are glowing respites from stormier songs such as "Space" or "Going Nowhere," yet none are without their own wondrous internal emotional arcs. From song to song, one finds the perfect balance between torrential upheaval and comforting release. The band has certainly discovered a way to translate all the subtleties of their feelings into music. It is a true pleasure to follow the sound-swept journey of their thoughts. - MVW