As versed in jazz and chamber music as she is in acoustic pop, Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn has a lot more on her plate than your typical Cat Power-cloned indie chanteuse. After singing in the Hot Set, an Olympia, Washington, swing band, she loaned her bell-toned voice to the Microphones' masterful records, Don't Wake Me Up and Window. These guest spots led to a studio partnership between Mirah and the Microphones' Phil Elvrum, who produced all three of her solo discs, starting with 2000's You Think It's Like This But It's Really Like This and its followup, 2002's lavish, exploratory Advisory Committee. Her latest full-length, C'mon Miracle, casts as wide a net as Committee, but filters out some of her more indulgent tendencies; the outcome is eleven understated songs etched from shaded chords, spectrally layered voices and sporadic squalls of symphonic force. In addition to Miracle, this year saw the release of To All We Stretch the Open Arm, a politically-minded collaboration with Seattle's Black Cat Orchestra -- yet another revelation of Mirah's sure, compelling command of the musical lexicon.
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