Mi and L'au | Review
there's a rarified air of delicacy to these chilly little songs
Mi and L'au
Young God, 2005
Spare, careful, and mournful are the chief adjectives I could toss at this duo's music. While not sonically unprecedented, there's a rarified air of delicacy to these chilly little songs. You'd think that two people that had found love, affinity -- both collaborative and in terms of a desire to be isolated in a woodland cabin -- would have less forlorn tones to share. Then, to look at them, you'd think a large part of their contentedness with one another was their fondness for moping.
But if their brand of moping comes out like these meticulous driftwood meditations, then the world's a better place for it. And being of the lonely and always hinging on desperation contingent, it's nice to hear lovers making music that isn't preoccupied with the virtues of requited love. Instead, one gets a sense of two brooding souls, enticed as they are dryly reflective in the face of the uncertain and uncontainable in life. The mesmeric stillness of their songs are not to be diminished. Not since the first time I heard the song "Shame" have I been confronted with such an arresting approach to haunted, minimalist balladry.
Like with Boduf Songs' self-titled debut, this stillness can turn to staleness if you're not in the right mood. And (aside from the eerie City of Lost Children-esque opener, "They Marry") these are not the most infectious ditties around. They are arid and decidedly dreary, in the deepest sense of the word. Most likely, the best way to appreciate Mi and L'au's album is with the shiftless sort of resignation reserved for absorbing all that is futile before you. This may not sound like a ringing endorsement, but there are probably more people susceptible to this sort of mindset than are aware. It's an achingly beautiful companion to embraced melancholy. Not the self-pitying kind, but rather the isolated, endlessly reverberating sort that reminds you of the impermanence of, well, everything!
On a lighter note, this is yet another solid entry to the impressively selective Young God roster. Followers of the label will likely have already discovered this, so fans of eloquent, sad songs with judicious sugar content, please take note. Mi and L'au is a fine selection of such tunes.