6/18/2020

Mirah announces 'You Think It's Like This...' re-issue & tribute album, listen to Mount Eerie's "Of Pressure" cover


MIRAH

ANNOUNCES
YOU THINK IT'S LIKE THIS BUT REALLY IT'S LIKE THIS
 RE-ISSUE AND TRIBUTE LP

OUT 7/31 VIA DOUBLE DOUBLE WHAMMY

LISTEN TO MOUNT EERIE'S "OF PRESSURE" COVER

Photo Credit: Meghan Marin


Today, Mirah has announced a 20th anniversary reissue of her seminal album, You Think It's Like This But Really It's Like This. The double LP reissue includes a remastered version of the record as well as a tribute to the album that features covers by Mount EerieHand HabitsHalf WaifPalehoundShamirSad13Allison Crutchfield and more. You Think It's Like This But Really It's Like This is available for pre-order now and due July 31st via Double Double Whammy

"It was a joy to record my version of Mirah's song 'Of Pressure' using the old cassette 4 track and all the instruments we used to use together in the old days," said Mount Eerie's Phil Elverum, "Same air organ, same antique drum machine, same chaos. I remember when Mirah first recorded her original. It was part of a batch of songs that she worked on independently of our collaboration in Dub Narcotic studio. Her 4 track world. That one was a big built world of mounting layers, the feeling of pressure and depth. I loved it and I still do. I wanted to see if I could make it a little more oppressive even."

LISTEN TO MOUNT EERIE'S "OF PRESSURE" COVER
LISTEN TO THE REMASTERED "OF PRESSURE"
Phil Elverum & Mirah, circa 1999, courtesy of the artists

In the last months of the 1990s, in the years after she graduated from Evergreen, Mirah would regularly walk from her apartment on 4th avenue in downtown Olympia five minutes up the block to her friends' place, the Track House. On one such occasion, she holed up in their garage all night long with her four-track cassette recorder and their broken, out-of-tune piano. "It's a small town," she sang, over crackly, creeping keys. "I'll see you around...I wish you'd move." 

It's sweet but sharp, like much of her expansive, decades-long catalog of beaming pop songs. And it's apt intro to the songs she was writing around that time, all laced with snapshots from small-town Oly: the railroad tracks that run through town, transient friends who'd come and go on tour, the feeling of being a million miles from the city. 

"I didn't know I was making a record," recalls the singer, songwriter, recording artist and producer, twenty years later, on the brink of the reissue of her now classic debut full-length, You Think It's Like This But Really It's Like This, released in 2000 by K Records. It was just that freedom, following her first couple of EPs and tours, that made the record gleam with possibility: the excitement of beginnings, of unfiltered long-distance longings, the miniature everyday epiphanies of becoming yourself. 

When it was written, Mirah was in her early 20s, immersed in a life of cheap rent, constant art-making, "distracting [herself] with the guitar and microphones" (as she sings on the album) and helping to run DIY cafes like the Secret Cafe at the Track House and the Red Horse Cafe out of her own apartment. Some days, she'd be at home experimenting with four-track home-recording. Other days, she'd be over at Dub Narcotic's giant warehouse space, in its wide open second floor studio, the Big Room, meeting up with friends like Phil Elverum (who she had collaborated with in The Microphones, and who co-produced the record), Khaela Maricich (of the Blow, who sings on some of the songs), and really, whichever cast of friends were around and wanted to play music. 

"Calvin had incredible equipment and was so generous and trusting," Mirah reflects, mentioning vintage gear like an old Hammond B3 organ with a Leslie speaker used on "Of Pressure". "He gave us all keys. Sometimes we'd go in there to record and Arrington [de Dionyso] would be asleep on a mattress on the floor because he had been recording all night. We didn't even have a schedule. We were all involved with each other's projects. If I needed a choir, we'd just call everybody up and they'd walk over. And a couple minutes later, 10 friends would be there." 

That's exactly what happened for "Person Person," a collective love letter to someone traveling far away, where Mirah sings over a dreamy guitar, before her whole friend group turns up for the perfectly messy chorus. It's a bit of an ode to chosen family, much like "La Familia," where interlocking vocal melodies stretch over sparks of subtle guitar noise. 

Elsewhere, there's also one of indie pop's most sweeping and visceral crush songs, "Sweepstakes Prize," a perfect encapsulation of Mirah and Elverum's collaborative ability to build sparse minimalism into clattering noise, to make the tension of the lyrics utterly inescapable. For its hooky drumbeats, Elverum set up two kits on opposite ends of the room. "We both played drums at the same time," Mirah remembers. "And had them mic-ed so that it gave a natural room delay. We just had a lot of fun." (It was written about the same person as "Small Town," she recounts, laughing, a testament to the album's rollercoaster of emotions.) 

Two decades later, You Think It's Like This... brims with timelessly necessary feelings: of dreaming in the moment, of not having expectations, making art because it's fun, unsupressable exuberance even when the songs are not joyful. "I just hope people can get there again," Mirah says. "My biggest hope with making music is that the music I make can do for other people what all the music I've listened to in my life has done for me. It helps me be alive. It helps me be a person. It helps me feel things. It helps me connect to myself and to other people."



MIRAH
YOU THINK IT'S LIKE THIS BUT REALLY IT'S LIKE THIS
DOUBLE DOUBLE WHAMMY
JULY 31, 2020

1. Million Miles 
2. Sweepstakes Prize
4. This Dance
5. La Familia
6. Gone Sugaring
7. Person Person
8. Engine Heart
9. Archipelago
10. 100 Knives
11. Murphy Bed
12. Pollen
13. Small Town
14. Water and Sleep
15. Telephone Wires
16. Words Cannot Describe
17. Words Cannot Describe (2020 Version)

TRIBUTE LP

1. WHY? (Feat. Gabby's World) - Million Miles
2. Y La Bamba - Sweepstakes Prize
4. Sad13 & Mal Blum - This Dance
5. Allison Crutchfield - La Familia
6. Madeline Kenney - Gone Sugaring
7. Maia Macdonald - Person Person
8. Lauren Ruth Ward - Engine Heart
9. Hand Habits - Archipelago
10. Flock of Dimes - 100 Knives
11. Half Waif - Murphy Bed
12. Shamir - Pollen
13. Palehound - Small Town
14. Arthur Moon (Feat. Aviva Jaye) - Water and Sleep
15. Night Shop & La Louma - Telephone Wires
16. The Blow - Words Cannot Describe

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