9 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Ethiopia-born, Finland-raised artist makes music that's bewitching and haunting, the songs of a soul older than her 23 years. The chilling effect of Wagner’s lovely, trance-like voice (stripped of emotion while describing a dying lover’s cold limbs or the devil's red eyes) is accompanied by spare, blues–inspired acoustic guitar picking; it's powerfully evocative. Wagner’s tales are both lulling and harrowing; they feel as if the souls of Leonard Cohen, Robert Johnson, and PJ Harvey have all left their vessels (well, one has been long vacated) and planted themselves inside Wagner for a visit. “When they find me in the river/tell my mother I was a good boy,” she intones gently on “Joe,” whose subject describes feeling “light as a leaf/an angel holding hands with me” as he stares down his imminent death. Wagner wrote the brooding “To the Bone” as a teenager in Finland: “Your love drags me down/like the clothes when you swim/down, deeper down/like the roots of old trees.” Breathtakingly beautiful and admirably outré, Wagner's an artist in the best sense of the word

EDITORS’ NOTES

This Ethiopia-born, Finland-raised artist makes music that's bewitching and haunting, the songs of a soul older than her 23 years. The chilling effect of Wagner’s lovely, trance-like voice (stripped of emotion while describing a dying lover’s cold limbs or the devil's red eyes) is accompanied by spare, blues–inspired acoustic guitar picking; it's powerfully evocative. Wagner’s tales are both lulling and harrowing; they feel as if the souls of Leonard Cohen, Robert Johnson, and PJ Harvey have all left their vessels (well, one has been long vacated) and planted themselves inside Wagner for a visit. “When they find me in the river/tell my mother I was a good boy,” she intones gently on “Joe,” whose subject describes feeling “light as a leaf/an angel holding hands with me” as he stares down his imminent death. Wagner wrote the brooding “To the Bone” as a teenager in Finland: “Your love drags me down/like the clothes when you swim/down, deeper down/like the roots of old trees.” Breathtakingly beautiful and admirably outré, Wagner's an artist in the best sense of the word

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3:38
3:09
2:30
4:56
4:17
3:31
3:07
2:41

About Mirel Wagner

Singer/songwriter Mirel Wagner's gothic folk recalls a rich tradition of brooding lyricists from Billie Holiday to Leonard Cohen to Hope Sandoval while crafting a sound uniquely her own. Born in Ethiopia and raised in Espoo, Finland, Wagner first took up music at age seven, learning to play violin; by 13 she switched to guitar and three years later began writing songs. "To the Bone," the opening track from her debut record, represents one of those early works. Jean Ramsay, an American journalist based in Finland, discovered Wagner at an open-mike night in Helsinki, and his rave reviews led the artist to the recording studio, where in two days she laid down 12 songs. Her self-titled full-length debut arrived in Europe in February 2011 (and stateside by March 2012), introducing listeners to her poetic, darkly romantic lyrics, weary yet sensual vocals, and minimalist trance-like guitar playing. For her second album, Wagner collaborated with Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti, best known for his work as Luomo and Vladislav Delay. Ripatti's polished, cavernous on 2014's When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day heightened the eerie intensity of Wagner's music. ~ Chrysta Cherrie

  • ORIGIN
    Ethiopia
  • GENRE
    Blues
  • BORN
    Dec 3, 1987

Top Songs by Mirel Wagner

Top Albums by Mirel Wagner