Silky, sultry, and sensational: the initial core audible qualities of electro-pop artist MIEARS’ handiwork. Ethereal and mystifying, MIEARS’ gracefully weaves a delicate balance of tantalizing loftyness and entrenching, melting dark undertones, toeing the line between boundlessly and effortlessly light and shadowy harmonic weight. The end result of this encounter is nothing short of pure, unadulterated visceral bliss- as if you’re left foating in dead space, with endless gentle rushes of transient melodies caressing and carrying you with the tide.
MIEARS is the solo project of Michelle Miears, frontwoman of Houston-based electronica trio, BLSHS. With a voice comparable to those of Lauren Mayberry and Georgia Nott, Miears enjoyed multiple festival appearances with the band, countless words of praise in the media and a grueling schedule of tour dates and sets at festivals like CMJ Music Marathon and SXSW. However, after work stalled on the follow up to BLSHS’ debut album, Michelle began a journey that would start with a question and end with a whole new solo project. With the EP now complete and ready to be unleashed, MIEARS is preparing for the next chapter of her life, in which she’ll perform as a solo artist for the very first time.
Who Will Save You?, is an emotionally driven musical narrative, that explores the compulsive and cyclical nature of relationships. Written, produced, performed and recorded solely by MIEARS herself, Who Will Save You? is a DIY take on melancholy pop music, complete with ethereal melodies and synthesizers.
While this fatally gorgeous EP drops on this Friday, February 17th, we have the immense pleasure of teaming up with MIEARS to present your eyes and ears with an early gift. So, without further ado, we proudly present to you the official pre-release track-by-track of MIEARS’ Who Will Save You? We’ve embedded some select tracks off of her upcoming release below, just to give you a taste.
But be warned: one bite, and you’ll be lost forever to her dreamlike musicality.
Directional was my first song to tackle in a solo environment. Coming from a collaborative environment in my band, BLSHS, we were used to divvying up parts and bouncing up ideas off of one another. While writing and producing “Directional,” I took time to explore techniques and sounds, and worked to find an identity within the sound and a work flow of my own. Writing this song was a huge discovery and learning experience for me. Mid-production on this track, I bought a MicroKORG, and used it for all of the bass parts and various synth parts. The MicroKORG ended up being a constant throughout the EP from this point on. Lyrically, I wrote “Directional” during a tough stretch of time with a loved one who was struggling with depression. In fact, a handful of the songs from this EP come from that experience. “Directional” was a hopeful plea to this person, as I wanted to be the light at the end of their tunnel.
“Reaching” started as a demo that had been sitting around for a while during a time when I was just dabbling with Logic and learning the basics. The demo was composed solely with soft synths from Logic Pro 9. I had a general idea of the vocal melody and lyrics, and I knew I wanted to flesh the song out and see where I could take it. Once I upgraded to Logic Pro X and purchased my MicroKORG, I got to work on forming the demo into a full-fledged song with some fresh sounds and ideas. The arpeggiated synth part in the intro really became the glue for this song. Lyrically, “Reaching” came from a desperate place, as I was longing to be there for someone who I know longer had the ability to protect. I tend to dive into the past a lot and lament over what could have been. I think this song was a nostalgic take on those feelings.
“Who Will Save You?”
This was definitely my most challenging song to finalize on this EP. I wrestled with this song as a demo, and it eventually transformed into what it is today. The entire process of writing/composing/producing this song took 2 years, off and on. I did take many breaks away from this song, so it was not until the end of the creation of this EP that I really looked this song in the eyes and finished it up. The drum production is probably what transformed the most throughout the process. The early demos were entirely different than what you hear now. I borrowed a Nord Electro2 to put the finishing touches on this song, specifically on the outro. The outro was a part that I originally did not intend to keep. It was a one-take vocal part that I couldn’t let go of. It was kind of like a soothing lullaby at the end of the turmoil. This song was originally inspired by my experiences as a volunteer at an animal shelter (something that I have done weekly for 5 years). It is so hard to see the pain that these innocent creatures experience when they are abandoned. I realized that I could relate, as I think we all can, to that feeling of abandonment and confusion. Ultimately, we become stronger through those experiences. The hurt and the broken long to be saved, but I think more so, those who do the hurting need to be saved even more.
“Echoes” was similar to “Reaching” in that it sat around as a demo for quite some time, as a really basic composition in Logic Pro 9. Once I upgraded my software, incorporated the MicroKORG, and breathed some new life into this demo, it really began to take shape. I have found that I really like working with hardware. Something about turning the knobs and tweaking the sounds with a physical instrument is very inspiring. I also incorporated a ton of vocal accents/vocal production elements on this track. There were stacks of vocal tracks in Logic, once this song was completed. “Echoes” was a very blunt response to rejection. I was reconciling my heart and my conscious during the time that I wrote this song, as I was feeling like my love was not being reciprocated and might never be. It embodies that all-consuming curiosity and inner dialogue when you are not sure what direction your relationship is heading in. You feel uncertain about the future and unsure if you invest any more or your time or energy.
“He Never Loved Me”
When this song was initially written, it only took me a few hours to write- maybe even less. I sat at the piano and worked with the chord progressions and a vocal melody, and quickly wrote my lyrics as well. However, once it was written, it did take several months to finalize production on this track. I feel that this is usually my pattern and work flow: I write a song extremely quickly, feeling very in tune with my emotions in the moment, and then I take my time with the technical elements. I work on a song until my brain is no longer nagging me to make changes, taking it as far as I can, without going too far. That is a delicate balance to find. I was feeling pretty rejected and broken at the time that I wrote this song, and I had stubbornly come to the conclusion that whatever I was feeling mustn’t have been real from the beginning… It’s kind of a defense mechanism, I suppose.
“Cycle” was the very last song that I wrote for this EP. It was a particularly stormy night in Houston, and I had some candles burning. Something about that atmosphere brought a slow jam out of me, as I sat down to the keyboard to write. I was borrowing a Nord Electro2 around the time that I wrote this song, so I used it quite a bit on this track. The Nord sounded so lovely, that I ended up circling back to “Who Will Save You?” with the instrument and working it in as well, as I was finalizing production on that song. The foundation for “Cycle” ended up being a reversed vocal part of mine that I toyed around with when I first began to work on the track. It really captured me in the moment and I ended up producing the song around it. “Cycle” was a total dive into my past, as I was reliving my experiences and emotions from an on-again-off-again relationship that really broke me. If you could somehow define co-dependency through a song, this would be it. This song’s emotions are cyclical, dizzying, nostalgic, and compulsive. I feel like I could write multiple continuations of this song, as I am all too familiar with these emotions.