Mira, Projekt's first new band for the new century
Written by Scott Sweeney.
For Mira, things began as unassumingly as the opening bass notes for the song named after their drummer's cat.
The band formed in 1996 and - like many bands before them - began writing songs in the solitude of a living room; but starting with a palate of shared influences that one might expect (The Cure, Lush, Cocteau Twins, and Slowdive), Mira have crafted a surprising blend of blissful shoegazing, unconventional pop sensibilities, and ether-laced dirges.
By the time the band was signed by Projekt in 1999, Mira were already rocketing out of the underground. For much of that year, six of their songs were in the Top 10 of MP3.com's "Shoegazer" category. And their song "Cayman" quickly became a stand-out track on Projekt's benefit CD, A Cat-Shaped Hole in My Heart.
Their much-anticipated self-titled debut is an excellent introduction to the band, with many of the songs dating back to Mira's inception. Guitarist Tom Parker, working with a revolving door of other guitarists and bass players, provides the shimmering framework for the songs, and drummer Alan Donaldson gives the songs their backbone and power. But it's singer Regina Sosinski that gives the songs their soul. With her yearning - and, at times, pleading - voice, she takes listeners along on her journey into herself. Regina's lyrics draw on past and present relationships, skirting the themes of love, fear, doubt, and finding strength from within.
Besides their music on A Cat-Shaped Hole in My Heart and their debut CD, Mira also contributed an exclusive track to Seireenia, Projekt's ethereal collection of female vocalists. "Divine" signals a new direction for the band. While still retaining the familiar Mira sound, there is a stronger emphasis on a diverse song structure. Influenced by Seely, the band has begun to adapt the well-worn verse/chorus/verse format into movements, sometimes changing time signatures.
Yet those who have already warmed to Mira's sound shouldn't worry about the band making any radical departures. While they are hard at work on material for their next full-length release - and continue to grow as songwriters - Mira are incorporating the new ideas into their established repertoire. And after recently solidifying their ever-changing line-up (with the addition of guitarist Mark Davidson and bassist Melody Fleck), the band hope to stabilize their future creativity as well.