Words by Stína Satanía
The review was originally printed in Reykjavík On Stage (Issue 3)
Sinking Island, a new album by MIMRA, is a fascinating treat on the subject of vocal experiences. Hidden under the name MIMRA, singer, producer and composer María Magnúsdóttir offers powerful and dramatic vibes. Her electro-acoustic folk pop arrangements are bold and rich, and her beautiful voice is indeed striking.
María has been active on the local music scene – especially the jazz scene – for quite some time. Her previous experiences with electro-pop duo Early Late Twenties gave her a base to work on her own, more electro-acoustic, material. MIMRA’s solo debut, Not Your Housewife, was released in 2009 to rave reviews. The next album took her a few years to complete. Sinking Island, as it would ultimately be titled, took shape in the Netherlands and England, and eventually became her master’s thesis in popular music at Goldsmiths, University of London.
The album, released in November 2017, contains 12 original compositions and delivers intense inner energy. The main themes are love, heartache, anger and happiness – all true stories. MIMRA carves out her own space ambitiously between electronic vibes, soul and multi-layered classical arrangements for a full band. From the very first song on the album, ‘Our Great Escape’, the artist grabs the listener’s attention with her wide vocal range and deep passion with honest, personal lyrics. If you are looking to be touched by music, you will definitely get it here.
The first single, ‘Play with Fire’, perfectly showcases the variety of sounds that MIMRA presents on the album. Distinct from most of the other compositions on Sinking Island, it dives into a heavy electro mood.
So far, my favourite track on the album is the dramatic ‘Coraline’, in which MIMRA paints a majestically dramatic sonic landscape with great panache, and ascends to new vocal heights. No worries; there is also space for care-free happiness on this album. The playful ‘Mushroom Clouds’ takes a sonic detour from the main path of the LP. This sudden change in mood unveils an energetic rocket that will make you dance on the street.
Will you let MIMRA ship you off into the unknown in an air balloon to discover her music?
MIMRA – Sinking Island:
1. Our Great Escape
2. Play With Fire
4. Mushroom Cloud
5. Söngur Valkyrjunnar
6. Build A Home
7. Sinking Island
8. Sunshine Has Been Drinking
12. I Cannot Sleep Tonight