On a trip intended to jumpstart the creative process for new material, Holly Miranda reflects, “I had a dream that I was going to rent a house in Joshua Tree and go write by myself for a month. I’d never been there before, but I woke up the next day and booked the first house I found and left a few days later. It was about getting away from the chatter of Los Angeles and reconnecting with myself and nature. I had a bit of writer’s block after the last record, I wasn’t having fun anymore and I really needed to get back the core of why I started making music 17 years ago.” she says.
Whatever it was Miranda needed from her time in desert, she seems to have found it. On her self-titled sophomore release Miranda nods at her singer-songwriter roots but also pushes herself in new directions. She co-produced the album with Florent Barbier, and tracks like “Desert Call” and “Everlasting,” show off straightforward songwriting, soulful delivery and a lighters-in-the-air orchestration that places Miranda alongside the pantheon of songwriters who can make heartache sound beautiful. After half of her life spent on stage or in a recording studio—with her former rock band The Jealous Girlfriends and more recently as a solo artist— Miranda is still experimenting and diving for deeper truths.
“This is the most honest thing I’ve ever made; it’s very raw and is a contrast to what I’ve done in the past,” she says. After writing in Joshua Tree, she headed to Brooklyn, New York in the winter of 2012 to record most of the album, enlisting the help of bandmates Timmy Mislock, Maria Eisen and David Jack Daniels, while taking turns herself on piano, drums, guitar and bass. “There’s a Motown vibe to some of the songs” she notes of the recordings. “I wanted it to feel like the band was playing the songs live. There’s also a few that are more electronic and ethereal,” like the song “Come On.” She recorded that track in Los Angeles with David Andrew Sitek, producer of her 2010 release The Magicians Private Library.
Outside of recording, Miranda’s kept plenty busy. She recently toured the globe playing guitar for Karen O in support of her solo debut Crush Songs, she toured Spain for the annual Voces Femininas festival and is currently working on a graphic novel with Portland based artist Catherine Lazar Odell.
“I can’t remember a time I wasn’t singing. When I was little my older sisters used to make me lay on the floorboard of the car if I was going to sing, because my voice was so loud they said it felt like it was ‘inside of their heads.’ I’ll never stop making music. It’s the best therapy I’ve found.”
Listening to her new record, one certainly hopes she never stops.
Videos & Press
[Stereogum] By Tom Breihan Earlier this year, the singer-songwriter Holly Miranda released Party Trick, an EP of covers. We’ve posted her versions of songs by Drake and Bon Iver, but the cover choice that impressed me most was “In Spite Of Me,” the best song that the much-missed Boston trio Morphine ever recorded. And now […]
[Stereogum] by Chris DeVille Holly Miranda’s new covers EP Party Trick gets its name from an old Tegan Quin quote about how Miranda could take any song and make it sad. “She said it was my party trick,” Miranda explains. And that may well be true, though when you’re taking on material by the likes […]
[Paper] By Ivan Guzman Over the past 15 years New York singer-songwriter Holly Miranda has earned her stripes in the music industry having started out with her rock band The Jealous Girlfriends before going on to play guitar for Karen O on her world tour. Miranda released her sophomore album, a self-titled LP, in 2015 […]
[NPR] Holly Miranda grew up in a conservative religious family in Detroit. Secular music was banned in her childhood home, but she got a guitar at 14 and left for New York City at 16 to try and make it in the music business. And she did, sort of. After making a major-label album that […]
[Daytrotter] Listen here! Holly Miranda has accomplished and accrued an amazing amount of experience in a relatively short amount of time. Moving to New York City at the brave age of 16 from Detroit, she cut her teeth like many by playing in bands around the city before moving towards a career as a songwriter […]
[Rookie] We talk about her hypnotic new music video, using selfie sticks in public, and graphic novels. Melody Lau It’s been five years since Holly Miranda released her album, The Magician’s Private Library. In that time, the bicoastal singer-songwriter toured her record and bounced between Detroit, New York City, and Los Angeles. But when it […]
[Buzzfeed] Taking place in a desert-set carnival of curiosities with real circus performers, Holly Miranda’s latest music video — and the track that it supports — marks a transformation for the musician. The pop-infused, playful buoyancy on her eponymous new album continues to showcase Miranda’s impressive vocals, while offering a departure from her debut album’s […]
[Pitchfork] In the age of social media and perpetual feed refreshing, releasing new music has become akin to issuing a status update—something that should be done quickly and often, if only to remind everyone you’re still alive. Sure, savvy, big-name artists can use long delays between albums to their promotional advantage, parlaying pent-up anticipation into […]
[New York Times] Holly Miranda Holly Miranda May 19, 2015 Dangerbird Records | hollymiranda.com » Earlier this year, the eclectic singer-songwriter and musician Holly Miranda embraced mainstream pop as a member of the Scarlett Johansson-led female supergroup, The Singles. She’s back in front of the bandstand with her third album, which features sun-soaked guitar and […]
[Spin] When a love song starts with the lyrics “The days are shorter, but the nights are long / We could fuck in the sun and then dance till dawn,” you know that it means business. Indeed, Detroit-via-New York singer/songwriter Holly Miranda is messing around with no part of the unequivocally titled “All I Want […]