Mi and L'au | Review

By -Deuteronemu 90210 In Moominland-

their self-titled debut is a wondrously fragile structure

February 06

Label: Young God Format: CD

Mi and L'au are the latest discovery by Michael Gira, whose Young God label is fast becoming a guarantee of quality. They're a male/female duo (Finnish and French respectively) who live, apparently, in an isolated cabin in the woods in Finland, where they work on their music. (Muso trivia- "Gentle Soul" by Devendra Banhart is about L'au, so one can only assume he's a very nice chap).

Now it seems to me there's two ways you can go if you're making music in a cabin in the woods. Either some kind of righteous redneck gunfuck frenzy, or something more organic and magickal. Mi and L'au have taken the latter route, and their self-titled debut is a wondrously fragile structure, Mi's plaintive vocal, balanced with L'au's more strident, though chilled, tones, riding over minimal acoustic tracks, largely guitar with the ghosts of trebly piano, bells and what have you lurking behind, with the occasional burst of birdsong and the like. By turns lovely and sinister, there's something very... wintry... about this album. In short, it sounds like the kind of thing you'd listen to if you were snug by a fire in a cabin in the middle of the woods in Finland. You can almost hear the snow falling outside- if it's not too much of a crass national stereotype, you could imagine the Moomins putting this on just before they hibernate for the long Moominvalley winter. Either that, or you could imagine the Moomins already hibernating, and Snufkin wandering about outside with this on his iPod.

It's quite simply gorgeous. I was already thinking of jacking it all in and going to live in a cabin in the woods anyway - on the strength of this I may not bother taking the guns after all.