Mihra are the latest outfit from new Melbourne label Wigwam. Recently launched in July, the small label houses a diverse selection of bands; psychedelic act My Elephant Ride (who Mihra’s lead Chevaunne Keleher also sings in) – to crash course in experimental pop, Ministry of Plenty. Label owner Nathan Abbey also yarns self-deprecating poetry in the key of Peter Bibby – and throwing Mihra into the mix, it’s a colourful lot. ‘I Wonder’ is the newest track from the jazzy six piece, set to appear on their debut out later this year.
‘I Wonder’ saunters in with a breezy piano hook, the Bossa Nova type that holds in-flight soundtracks and wine grazing tours together. Mihra are aware of the periphery of jazz-pop twee, and tip-toe carefully around it. The band are devoted to their own sincereness and bask in it at times. Vocalist Keleher sings about feigned hope after the end of a relationship, while the bass line politely coaxes a muzak sample as harmonies cross fire in-between. Lyrically, the track is light on the ‘poetic’ side. It’s more of a casual late afternoon muse compared to some of the new ‘future soul’ crowd who divulge in more sonic landscapes, but it’s sweet listening overall. With Keleher’s lead in a different context – I’m not ruling out a quasi shimmy into a JAALA riff/scat-off at some point in the future.
If you tripped this track over in the street, it’d probably recite you a psalm and cradle your face in its hands, as easy listening does. Politeness is a comfy place for music to be, but Mihra have the foundations to turn up the goods. Looking forward to hearing more – and perhaps watching these guys throw some (syncopative) shade.