Miko: Chandelier
Someone Good

Rie Mitsutake's sophomore Miko collection Chandelier (the first appeared on Plop) provides a concise if fleeting portrait of Miko's delicate artistry. In simplest terms, she creates densely layered electro-pop songs of enchanting shimmer that are harmonic and folk-like in spirit. In keeping with the material's intimate character, Chandelier exudes an appealing, home-made feel. One pictures Miko laying down the album's eight songs after squeezing recording gear, acoustic guitar, piano, glockenspiel, and assorted percussion instruments into a tight space at her home on the outskirts of Tokyo. A given tune's instrument sounds and vocals sparkle—Miko unconventionally choosing to embed her voice within the mix alongside the instruments rather than at the forefront—for three minutes and then fade away. Buoyed by lullaby-like melodies, Miko's soft voice, and a slow, lulling tempo, “Sea House” starts the album on a positive note. On “New Town,” the insistent plink of a piano, wheeze of a melodica, and strum of an acoustic guitar form a delicate web against which her voice gently intones. Elsewhere, lilting electronic-folk ballads and miniature sound universes, like a child's dreams distilled into sonic form, abound. There's an appealing modesty to and innocence about the material, and a pang of regret undeniably arises when the album—mini-album is more like it—ends after a mere twenty-seven minutes.

January 2011