Mi and L'au | Review | Michael Byrne

these songs are gorgeous for their absences

December 05 Mi and L'au (Young God) We've traveled this twilight forest before, we've felt snowflakes melt on our bare necks, we've been alone together here, and we've known that behind us this forest has sucked away our path, washed over our stamps and sounds. This is where we meet folk phantoms like Mi and L'au, one half-world apart from the rock affected Devendra Banhart or the pop sheen of Rosie Thomas. These are fourteen tracks of crystalline melancholy, a stripped subtle folk answer to Portishead's chilly masterpiece Dummy. Paths of sound upon solid white snow or through clear cold nothing, these songs are gorgeous for their absences (much of which we can credit to Young God father Michael Gira's austere production.) Mi's vocals convey a sadness that creeps/glides along the precipice of apathy. Paired with minimal instrumentation­a slow piano drizzle, minor-key guitar, the quiet entry of bowed strings, L'au's Euro-affected vocals­ they offer an understanding of every weight ever thrust upon us. When they haul this critic into the middle of a certain snowy Michigan field for a final pity-bullet, I could only hope for these ghosts to trail in my wake. (If you want to read the whole fascinating story about this duo's origins and their snowy cabin in the middle of nowhere, go to Repeating it here would be insulting, and the "author's dead" anyhow, right?)