Mi and L'au | Review | dave heaton

it makes everything stand still and pulls you in close

Feb '06
Mi and L'au, self-titled (Young God)

"Fold your hands round me," goes the last line on Mi and L'au's self-titled debut album, just as you feel like the music is doing the same, enveloping you with something as simple as two hands. The duo's music is almost unbelievably stark ...that is, the believability is questionable because of how full the music is in feeling, the way it makes everything stand still and pulls you in close. Mi and L'au is a couple, a woman and a man who mostly sing and play guitar, with another instrument gently added here and there. They recorded their album in a cabin in Finland, and it sounds indeed like its own little world. There's something very out-of-time,  out-of-place about the music; it doesn't feel like part of a "scene" or movement.  Yet it conjures up very distinct feelings, and in that way feels very of the moment. The music is slow, almost cautiously so, and potent in its pace, its intimacy, its warmth, and the weird beauty of the voices and music. Songs like "Burns" and "Christmas Soul" are peaceful and solemn, yet still quite eerie. There's space in these songs, and who knows what's occupying it.