Sunday, March 04, 2007

Mira -- Winner!

You ever get those moments when you're doing trivial things (read the paper, wake up, studying for midterms) and the radio's on, and you suddenly hear a song that you instantly like? But not in a pop-hit kinda way, that's being played over and over again, but really, appreciate the song despite realizing you may never hear it again.

I had that with "In de daluren" of fledgling singer/songwriter Mira. "In de daluren" is hard to translate into English, you could call it "During downtime" or "During off-peak hours at which your phone charges are reduced". But with the latter, you'd probably have one lousy chorus.

Anyway, Mira is a talented 24 year old Belgian from Antwerp, whose big break was winning the Public Award at the Nekka Night 2005 festival and clinching 2nd place overall. Her first album "In de daluren" is both critically acclaimed and loved by a growing amount of fans.

Her music is a very nice piece of "Belgicana" in which she makes cute little songs about cute and less cute little people and situations. Her lyrics are witty, uncomplicated but sometimes poignant and spunky. In the song "En Uwe Maat" ("And your boy", as in "BF") you get the following passage:

En uwe maat
Heeft een goe-fout Hawaï-hemdje aan
En uwe maat
Waar haalt hij die droge humor toch vandaan
En uwe maat
Loopt gelijk Travolta in Saturday Night Fever
Is wa kik krijg
Van uwe maat

Translated freely:

And your boy
He sure got one lame Hawaian shirt
And your boy
Where does he get those lame jokes and wit
And your boy
Look at him, like Travolta on Saturday Night Fever
He gets to me like nothing else
Your boy

Imagine this song with a jazzy set and sung with such mock that girls will recognize it, and guys will laugh at themselves. Wonderful.

Musically, her first album is a blender of pop/rock, jazz and piano ballad. Vocally, her voice is very similar to Cara of the teen band "Spring", but no other comparisons are present to the latter's bubbly kiddie songs. A keen characteristic is the obvious "Antwerp" accent she deliberately uses, which adds a touch of class (because Antwerp is simply thé greatest metropolis east of New York).

A noteable comparison to be made is that to Vanessa Carlton. Both are classically trained on the piano, and feature light pianodriven pop/rock/jazz on their albums. Live and on stage, they are both "the cute chick with the great voice and piano". Recently, she did a cover on a Belgian show in which she delivered a stellar performance.

So, if you're wondering if Belgium has some great new talent coming up, then look no further! You've found her.

Top image courtesy of and Peggy Schillemans.

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