We’re glad to announce that Los Angeles, United States-based alternative rock band MIHI NIHIL have released their eponymous debut album, which presents a hypnotic, melodic sound steeped in atmospheric post-punk and rock.
MIHI NIHIL (say: Mee-Kee Nee-Keel) are comprised of Mihi Vox (vocal), Benjamin Montoya (guitar), Nick Steinberg (bass) and Adam Alt (drums). Mihi, a former New York City Opera singer, is backed by three self-taught rockers. Officially, MIHI NIHIL are a new band consisting of members who have had successes in all sorts of creative endeavors, including touring with Iggy Pop and the Stooges, and Jane’s Addiction, fronting shows at famous festivals and venues including Coachella, the Warped Tour, and Carnegie Hall, backing up musical legends like Neil Young, John Denver, Bruce Springsteen, and even designing eyewear worn by Bruno Mars, Lady Gaga, and Rhianna.
The name MIHI NIHIL sounds like a University’s Latin motto, but it was actually the lead singer, Mihi Vox’s, nickname in college. Now a band motto, the name represents the group’s approach to life and music as they write songs together, staying open not only to each other but also to the music. Casually, through years of friendship and free-flow sessions the group calls “Whiskey Rehearsals,” MIHI NIHIL was realized, and the anatomy of their debut album was built. The band quickly understood how perfect this imperfect pairing of three alternative musicians and a classical singer would be. The record, written and performed together by the quartet in one room, fully encompasses their collaborative essence.
Delivering a dark country sound rooted in post-punk, MIHI NIHIL draws from a kaleidoscope of influences, including early Radiohead, The Clash, Ennio Morricone, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus, Neal Young, The Cure and The Pixies. Mihi’s captivating vocals flow seamlessly from serene unfolding to anthemic power, gliding alongside the tectonic pull of Benjamin’s guitar, while Nick and Adam drive the bass and drums with commanding fervor. Together, the four-piece have crafted a nine-song debut grounded in earthiness and redolent with nostalgia.
Veteran indie producer Adam Lasus (Yo La Tengo, Helium, Madder Rose) captured the band’s live energy to tape, revealing an album imbued with a timeless, lush and layered sound that’s meant to be savored and slowly ingested. Like colorful rock formations, the music encompasses a myriad of subtle tints and bold textures. Recorded without a click track, MIHI NIHIL naturally expands and contracts, pushes and pulls, moving with ease. Whether it’s the cinematic echo of Ennio Morricone in “Verberation” or the ominous yearning for connection in the more soporific electro “Space Invader,” MIHI NIHIL shifts tonal presentations effortlessly with maximum emotional thrust.
Over the prior months leading up to their self-titled LP, the foursome also released four singles from their debut album: “Be There“, “Vertigo“, “I Eat You” and “Falling Star“–all accompanied by music videos and garnering positive attention along the way. From the playful punk burst of “I Eat You,” which feels like it could have been recorded in 1977, to the dark wistful waltz of “Falling Star” swaying with a 1950s soul (for which you can read our review here), MIHI NIHIL bridge the past and present musical zeitgeists.
MIHI NIHIL’s tracks have already been placed in two recent major motion pictures, on several media outlets in fifteen countries, and in fifty-four playlists. Released on April 15th, 2021, their debut album has since reached #1 on the Amazon sales chart, #15 on the iTunes sales chart and #18 on the NACC most added chart.
MIHI NIHIL opens with “Gold,” where droning electric guitar melodies slowly and gradually unfold, crafting a cinematic soundscape along with the deliberate rhythms of the thundering bass and drums, which complements the serene vocals quite well. The next track, “Vertigo,” begins with a deep-toned guitar melody, harmonizing nicely with the resonant bass and punctuated by creative drum rhythms, while Mihi’s dynamic vocals add further to the track’s evolving rhythmic and melodic patterns. “Vertigo” leads nicely into “Be There,” which is introduced by echoing guitars and sonorous bass notes, while the captivating vocals soar above their lush atmosphere. Midway through the track, a powerful guitar solo signals the shift into a more distorted tone, which underscores the heightened emotion of the vocals and lyrics rather nicely.
“Space Invader” has a pleasantly dreamlike, otherworldly atmosphere, sustained by electronic rhythms, ambient guitar and bass notes, as well as washes of distorted chords, highlighting the entrancing vocal melodies quite well. The next track, “I Eat You,” is a change of pace, with an energetic, punk-inspired sound and funny lyrics that bring about a lighthearted feel; while “Verberation” sees the band returning to a more expansive, drawn-out sound, gradually building to a crescendo as the thoughtful vocal melodies float amidst reverberating guitars, deep bass, and steady percussion.
“Falling Star” takes the form of a leisurely waltz, the sentiments of the relaxed vocals blending nicely with dreamlike guitar textures, again demonstrating MIHI NIHIL’s eclectic influences as well as their musical versatility; while “Who Do You Think You Are?” has a pleasantly introspective atmosphere, featuring wistful vocal and guitar melodies sustained by laid-back drums and punchy bass notes, which are accented subtly by acoustic guitar strumming. The album concludes with “Ticking Clocks,” on which airy vocals complement the unhurried, reflective guitar melodies quite well, buzzing synths later adding an ethereal quality to the track’s sound. “Ticking Clocks” is also accompanied by a great music video premiering today, which you can check out here:
MIHI NIHIL’s debut album is quite an enjoyable listen, showcasing their brilliant songwriting and superb musicianship; I would highly recommend this track to fans of early Radiohead, Bauhaus, Mazzy Star, Phantogram, The Cure, The Savages, and early Sonic Youth.
LISTEN NOW MIHI NIHIL DEBUT ALBUM
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