By Robin Mumford of The Indie Plug
A voice so harmonious it makes any deeply expressive song seem like a happy one. Mia Stegner looks set to release her fifth creation this week, and it is an exceptional one.
Talking of her upcoming album, Stegner explains that she is "no stranger to introspection, but Scribbled Pleas on Yellowed Keys has felt like the deepest dive into my thoughts and feelings yet."
"These twelve songs are a direct response to the way my constant, desperate attempts to understand what is going on in my mind and heart have intensified over the past few months."
Scribbled Pleas on Yellowed Keys is a stratified album; it almost acts like an onion, only by peeling away the multitude of layers will you discover what it means and how well moulded this release is.
Mia Stegner's latest release has already got its plaudits, and rightly so. The third track in the album 'Very Next Day' won the weekly "Stuck at Home" John Lennon songwriting contest. Furthermore, 'Quiet Chaos' was selected for the 2020 Hidden Lantern Arts Festival, an organization dedicated to 'ending the stigma surrounding mental illness and starting conversations about mental health through the healing power of artistic expression,' a goal which Mia shares.
However, to truly understand the purity in her music, you will have to dive into it yourself. In this release, there a layers upon layers of talent in every song. Whether it be the constant switch in vocal tone or the change in atmosphere that the piano brings, there is so much to take in.
Working alongside Jimmy Montague for the mixing/mastering of the album, Mia Stegner propitiously cooks up a masterpiece that, on the surface, warms the listener's ears with its upbeat piano playing and hopeful vocals. However, most of the songs are very expressive, telling a much deeper, and sometimes eerie, story.
'Quiet Chaos' is Our Sound's pick for the best of the bunch though. The sinister opening line "Chaos, can you feel it in the eye of the storm?" is a catalyst for the songwriter's limitless creativity that emboldens the rest of the album and showcases the very best of what Stegner is capable of achieving through her emotive storytelling. This track plays the role of immersing the listener into the storyteller's mind, plunging them into a whirlwind of emotions.
An honourable mention must go to 'Lucidity', which follows 'Quiet Chaos' in the album's song list. This song is a polar opposite to our top pick in the fact that it is much more upbeat, but it maintains the same standard as the best that Mia has to offer. A song that could get anyone up in the morning, make a coffee and have a good day. The piano through this concoction serves as a mood booster that is only helped by Mia’s mellifluous voice.
This is a brilliant album that warmed our ears up, and it is perfect for any music listener. From the seemingly sinister songs to the upbeat ones, the standard is set high throughout the twelve tracks. Mia Stegner is both creatively astute and musically talented, harmoniously voiced and a true storyteller. ****
The album is released this Saturday, January the 23rd.