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coverpic flag Finland - Full Moon 221 - 09/09/14

Mirel Wagner
When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day
Sub Pop Records

Mirel Wagner is a Finnish artist whose first album was met with universal acclaim. The sequel sees her staking a claim with a bluesy yet wholly unique sound.

"The Dirt" is a sparsely accompanied song that recalls PJ Harvey, only with a less chaotic voice. Wagner's completely restrained delivery makes her bleak outlook fascinating. "In my Father's House" is a beautifully wrought, suspenseful tale with a gorgeous tune. "The Devil's Tongue" is equally astonishing, astounding images delivered in a soft bluesy hush. Wagner's forte is her ability to spin things heard before, then transforming them into something personal and unique.

"Taller Than Tall Trees" is another magical tale, Wagner echoing latter-day PJ Harvey, still singing softly where Harvey would howl. "I want to make babies with you," she intones, not sounding earth mother-ish, more like a spectral apparition stalking some unfaithful lover.

It's an astonishing album, all wrapped in compelling melodies and tales.

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