Audio Mixers: Matty Green; Holly Miranda.
Recording information: CCP Sound Recording Studio, Brooklyn, NY; Federal Prism, Los Angeles, CA.
Holly Miranda could just as well copyright the words "ethereal" and "atmospheric," given how effectively they describe her body of work, and that hasn't changed a bit with her self-titled third album. The songs on Holly Miranda are mostly built around pleasing pop melodies and are often catchy like nobody's business, especially "Mark My Words," "Whatever You Want," and "Come On," but regardless of the mood or the tempo, which range from radio-ready to smart-girl-in-her-bedroom contemplative, Miranda fills her performances with a languid, laid-back feel that's as inviting as a comfy pillow. Even when Miranda is seducing the listener with the invitation "We could f--k in the sun and dance 'til dawn" on "All I Want is to Be Your Girl" (a beckoning few would want to turn down), she does so with a slightly stoned amiability that glides more than it gallops, a tone that's also audible on the considerably more downbeat "Heavy Heart" and the deeply private "Hymnal." Miranda's various paths seem to invariably take her in a similar direction, but Holly Miranda shows that she's consistently strong at what she does, and Miranda and producer Florent Barbier have come up with a superb set of aural backdrops for these tunes, richly textured but well suited to the ebb and flow of the music, and in many respects more organic than what Dave Sitek came up with on 2010's The Magician's Private Library. Five years separated The Magician's Private Library and Holly Miranda, but her third album sounds spontaneous and well thought out at the same time, an exercise in folk-influenced indie pop that succeeds as both soul-baring and ear candy. ~ Mark Deming