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The Golden State

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Editors’ Notes

After three solo albums for independent labels that emphasized an austere minimalism, Mia Doi Todd, a classically trained musician from Yale University, entered the recording studio with producers Mitchell Froom and Yves Beauvais to re-record seven highlights from her first albums along with three newly penned compositions for her 2002 major label debut. As Froom acts as an artist’s producer, having handled Elvis Costello, Richard Thompson, Ron Sexsmith with sensitivity, he expands Todd’s sonic range without forcing her into compromising positions, providing her with an expert studio band featuring guitarist Nels Cline and drummer Jerry Marotta. Ambient textures add a soothing resonance to her pointed folk songs that recall the ‘60s folk traditions of Judy Collins mixed with the sparse mournful dirges of Cat Power. Todd’s simple, unaffected vocals add a sublime, melancholy to her slow haunting tunes — “Like A Knife,” “Independence Day” — that are disarming in their surface simplicity. Her music retains a childlike sense of wonder even as her sound matures along with the desperate personal and worldly concerns that infiltrate these inspiring tunes.


Born: June 30, 1975 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

A singer and songwriter whose music embraces a rich variety of cultural and creative influences, Mia Doi Todd was born June 30, 1975 in Los Angeles, California. Todd grew up in a creative household; her father, Michael Todd, was a sculptor of note, and her mother, Kathryn Doi Todd, was an Associate Justice in the California Court of Appeals, as well as a patron of the arts who has helped bring traditional Japanese dance and theater troupes to Los Angeles. As a child, Todd became involved in theater...
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The Golden State, Mia Doi Todd
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