Whenever I feel my life is at an impasse and after I have taken a few days to wallow in my sorrows and drown them according to whatever mixtures will do I then remember that art has the power to heal music most especially and I find its power more than any doctor’s words or bottle or pill remedy that can make me feel like a person again. We all have our struggles, but to hear others struggles documented so beautifully and so heart rendering as they often are when set to music, the healing seems to come that much quicker, and with so much more of a grace than can be provided by chemical alterations.
I was reminded of this healing power as I listened intently to Spin as One, the gorgeously melodic fourth album by the Los Angeles based folk duo, Mia & Jonah. Since meeting in San Francisco a decade and a half ago, Mia Mustari and Jonah Blumstein have over the years refined their brilliant folk and Americana which has enabled them to work with legends within the genre. On Spin as One, they are joined by an assembly of musicians who help to shape Spin as One into one of the most hauntingly beautiful folk records I have heard in years.
The opening track “Our Old Farm” is rife with sweet swells of violin and banjo that intertwine with a helix of healing power that along with the heart wrenching vocals of Mia and Jonah make it a song that grabs hold of you in a way that only the most powerful songs can. This power continues to take hold of you on the twangy “Spin as One” that once again is latently gripping,; the messages of hope exuding from it as powerfully as the music itself, a banjo, violin and drum combo that draws you into the very essences at the very heart of the folk genre.
Other songs here have a different sort of slow building beauty, the kind that are rendered with a painter’s eye, slowly being enriched as they float on with a quiet brilliance such as it does on “Nightingale” and the slow wrought and tranquil beauty of “Season of Opening” which will leave you shivering.
Whether you are in need of a shot in the arm, or a good dose of why there are so many reasons to keep going and find some peace in a world that often seems more cruel than it does kind, or you are just an enthusiast of folk and Americana, Spin as One will move you in ways that only the best music can.
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