CD REVIEWS: Holly Miranda: The Magician’s Private Library

Arts & Entertainment/Music by

Holly Miranda is better known as the frontwoman for The Jealous Girlfriends, a Brooklyn-based rock band. Now flying solo, the indie-pop newcomer’s full-length debut, The Magician’s Private Library, shows that she’s got a flavour of her own.

Produced by Dave Siteck of TV on the Radio, the album was reportedly recorded primarily between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m., which is also the time of day most suitable for listening to it.

The opening track, “Forest Green, Oh Forest Green,” sets a chipper tone not repeated elsewhere on the album before moving into the more sombre “Joints.” One of the stronger tracks is “Waves,” which embodies the essence of the album, though with soft electronic melodies and a 5 a.m. feel that is more upbeat and heartfelt than the rest. Another standout track is “No One Just Is,” which combines soft vocals and disjointed beats for a truly synesthesiac experience.

The album has a cohesive feel, which is surprising considering the almost-but-not-quite disjointed harmonies and blend of electronics. Miranda’s vocals make Feist comparisons inevitable, and while at times they’re buried by brass horns and artful keyboarding, her voice – though skilled – is rendered less important than the overall atmosphere of the album.

The Magician’s Private Library presents a dreamy musical landscape laced with hints of jazz, horns, and just a touch of magic.