Music Reviews

Mia Joy Spirit Tamer

(Fire Talk) Rating - 7/10

It’s a bit strange to say, but the new album from Chicago-based singer-songwriter Mia Joy isn’t the sort of debut that immediately grabs you. It took a few days after I heard Spirit Tamer for the first time, but I was eventually drawn back to the hovering, calm tone of the project. The soundscape of reverating electric guitars, warbling synths, and plastic drum programming feels familiar, but Joy’s intense and hushed vocals can often make or break a song. Ye Old Man illustrates this ideally, as the harsh emphasis she puts on the sentence “You didn’t call me on my birthday, you’re weren’t around” is one of the most memorable moments on the album. The off-putting vibe of Across Water is another great example, as it almost feels like she’s whispering the abstract lyrics atop of the shoegaze instrumentation. While some parts of the project can blend into the background, the overwhelming atmosphere carries this album into being something special.