Mi and L'au | ReviewIt's music to have a hot tub in the mountains by.
'Mi and La'u' (Young God Records) Released 31/10/05
Mi and L'au is quite the amalgamation of that hippy couple livin' it in the chill of nature who only come out to sing at their best friends' wedding; only they're French and Finnish, look like models (one was), and aren't wearing tie-dye. And something else. Something quite beautiful, but sometimes too strange in a creepy medieval it's in the way she sings of the the hills and the valleys as if there's some Kingly ownership of them...kinda.
The chosen introductory track "They Marry" suggests a tone that isn't entirely true to the essence of the album. The self-titled collection is, well, a little less weird and more beautiful than this Wicker-woman/ Tommy-lina ensemble with its burden buried/drowned or escape/drown song to marriage, which simpers against climaxed confusion of circus psychedelic instrument disorientations that should never have occurred on an ignored isle somewhere in the seventies. "How" directly follows as if questioning a disagreeable acid trip. How should I be, when I feel empty? The torrid twangs of the string, and piano high notes serve more as a confused companion, rather than the much needed knowing psychiatrist. "Older" has a similar feel resting on a backdrop some place with the fairies in a kind of awkward "I'm not a traditionally trained violinist" (or do they call it melancholic?) kind of way. This tiny tale enfolds about age and seeing all the fish in the crowd who want to drink your belly Oooookay.
Then there's "Philosopher" which is as lovely, simplistic, and heart breaking as a snowy dusk in Finland might be. Symbols and a plucky guitar feel like snow falling on and off a bear's back. Even the horribly titled "Bums" is sorta sweet with its American-family-focused-series-from-the-sixties tripe intro going to homeless human behaviour: with the destiny of (the couple sing together now, guitars slowly serenading) Empty bottles.
There's little secret within their music of the welcome transition from the crowds of Paris, to a cabin deep in forest, where the only matter between them's that of bitter weather and the prickly white topped trees. This is where they like to: "spend their time discovering each other and their music." Mi (the Finnish model) had previously picked up and "made music" with Devandra Banhart in Paris, although the precise meaning of "making music" gets lost somewhere. With these thoughts in mind it's hard to deny some songs sense of foreplay. Take the short "Nude" for instance, sang together, naturally: I welcome you nude. And stay (pause) come, for a while there's "A Word In Your Belly". Nothing feels rushed which is good, but without any climaxes it's like there¹'s no time like the far away future to finish the "Boxer".
While the music can be sooo simple, and often quite a bit weird, that's part of their magic. It's music to have a hot tub in the mountains by. Anyone got a free slot in their Alpine time share (easy jet access a must)?