You wouldn’t believe that a band can be formed in the course of a summer, and write and record an album in just two days. Well, the female band Mizuna did, all on their own, and are now ready to release the first singles from their debut album, “From Away From Here”: « Catie » and « Paris Girls ».
Behind this crazy quick band are two hard-working Mainers, both accomplished musicians: Geneviève and Mackenzie. Since they met two years ago in a creative writing class at New York University’s Gallatin School, they have been inseparable.
Compulsive writers and music lovers, they are vocalists and instrumentalists. Both possess a musical background and have been active musicians since their youngest years. And back in September, when I met these ladies in New York, Geneviève recalled how their creative activities shifted into something else, something worth giving a shot and recording:
“Well, I graduated, and we just kept running into each other, and so we started writing together, and sharing our work.
And I changed a poem into a song. (…) And then you played me a song back. And then we were like wow! And then we played a song together and our voices are very similar and they can blend well. So at times, it was like one voice. So it was just…like come on over, let’s make dinner and let’s play songs. And we weren’t very serious. Not that we weren’t serious but we didn’t take this out of just like hanging out, bedroom kind of conversations, until August, when we were like, let’s record.”
And what they thought would only be an EP turned out to be a full-fledged album, as Mackenzie recounted:
“So we thought we were going to record an EP which is just like 5 songs. And I get to Maine, and we were like going over what we had and I was like: “We should record a whole album cause we have so much materiel. So then, we had three friends who go to NYU and they brought all their recording equipment and so we ended up recording 11 tracks.”
And just like that “From Away From Here” was born. And today you get to here first-hand not one but two first singles: “Catie” and “Paris Girls”. So without more ado, please enjoy.
Catie is a mysterious and unexpected track.
It seems simple at first, with its acoustic vibe, but the more you listen the more its complexities become apparant, and the more you notice the strong guitar (or bass) and its variations.
In this song, Genevieve and Mackenzie’s voices blend very well throughout the song.
Catie is constructed like a flash fiction, with a very vivid imagery, and a rapid pace, and yet manages to produce an irresistibly nagging hook :
« Oh Catie, she’s not what I expected
she’s not what I dreamt
it would be me, I want it to be me »
Paris Girls, on the other hand, is a mellow folkish ballad, the kind that gives you the itch to dance, swing and sing, wishing you were under the Paris’ sun (though that sun has not been seen a lot in the recent weeks) or enjoying Parisian delicacies at the terrace of a café.
It very much sounds like an ode to Paris, dear to both Geneviève – who is half-French – and to Mackenzie who has spent some time there a couple months back.
Mackenzie’s voice definitely dominates this song, while Geneviève adds her French touch to this lovely ode, with few words in her native tongue.
Paris Girls and its all together joyful vibes made me think of the soundtracks from the 1967 musical-comedy film Anna by Pierre Koralnik, which is part of La Nouvelle Vague – The French New Wave.
Mizuna renders here a vibrant homage to Parisian lifestyle, Parisian women & Parisian chic.
If you liked them, you can download the two singles for free. How cool!
While waiting to hear more of “From Away From Here”, I leave you to enjoy these two beauties and their sensible and enchanting voices, with this cover of Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman. And little side note, the video is quite something. Take a look.
Lastly, keep posted on Kulture Fokus for the upcoming interview of Mizuna’s Geneviève and Mackenzie, with the dish on their uncommon name, the making of the album, their writing process, first gigs, influences and music in general.
Music rights: All rights reserved. Mizuna ©.
Recording by Tyler Postiglione and Santiago Hervella
Mixing and Mastering by Tyler Postiglione
Photographs by Felix Chan
Graphic Design by Ally Zhao