Time Out NY
Local songsmith Miwa Gemini offers refined yet subtly offbeat tunes. Her sassy, stylized delivery reminds us of Shilpa Ray.
New York Music Daily
Miwa Gemini is sort of the missing link between Shonen Knife and Calexico. She’s got the endearingly surreal lo-fi Japanese janglerock thing down cold, but she also has a southwestern gothic side. She likes waltzes, but these days it seems that she likes boleros even better. Her quirky sense of humor, along with the birittle vibrato that trails off as her voice reaches the end of a phrase, bring to mind Melora Creager of Rasputina. Gemini’s clangly, reverb-tinged minor-key guitar fits in among the many bands haunting the northern fringes of desert rock, like And the Wiremen.
Gig Alert: Miwa Gemini
How’s this for an album title: The Fantastic Lies of Grizzly Rose. Not too shabby, right? It gets even better when you find out that Grizzly Rose might be some sort of ghost. At least, according to Miwa Nishio, the musician who leads the band called Miwa Gemini. She says she met her while traveling alone in the California desert, and was inspired by tell her stories through her album.
The Fantastic Songs of Miwa Gemini
Nishio (vocals, guitar) leads Miwa Gemini, a band that is tinged with Western influences — and Western in all senses of the word. On their latest album, Fantastic Lies of Grizzly Rose, there are shades of Dolly Parton country western (“Goodnight Trail”), but the music also rattles with Frenchness a la Edith Piaf and accordions (Nishio sings en francais throughout). Her voice sometimes reaches a Björk-like timbre, and the instrumentation is often reminiscent of the Dresden Dolls (“Chanson”). Then there are the bits and pieces of Italian waltzes, carousel jingles and Jewish folk songs — all while Nishio draws on her classical music education in Japan. This may sound like a messy collection of influence, but the album is vibrantly cohesive, original and playful.
Miwa Gemini – American Folk from the Rising Sun Miwa’s songwriting is genius and beautiful. It is laden with American roots rock sounds and 12 bar blues structures. Her lyrics are imaginative and her voice floats perfectly above strange sounds and reverb heavy guitars. Here are two tracks, the latter being from her latest album.
Off Kilter Future Music
Singer-songwriter Miwa Gemini can take your breath away. Her single “Goodnight Trail” just stopped this blogger’s day dead in its tracks.Whatever the roots and reasons “Goodnight Trail” carries you away to a storybook world and gives you a very real sinking feeling at the same time. It’s a neat trick that makes her forthcoming third album TheFantastic Lies of Grizzly Rose one to watch for.
Artist of the Week: Americana Storyteller Miwa Gemini, with Q&A!
Eerie hoe down folk pop with narrative
Miwa is the artist of the week on MTV Iggy!
The Mysterious Miwa Gemini And the Fantastic Lies of Grizzly Rose
Feature story by John Barrett
"The most New York’s Miwa Gemini will say about her stage name is that Gemini is her astrological sign. She won’t reveal her actual name—but that’s OK, because she doesn’t care to talk too much about herself in her music. - cont."
Grizzly Roses lies may be fantastic, but Gemini's songwriting is terrific as well
Weirdos always make great music, and anyone who writes a soundtrack to her own made-up tale about a muse she met in Joshua Tree over 100 years ago gains the title of “weirdo”. Van Gogh and Einstein were also anything but normal, so Miwa Gemini shouldn’t frown at that label. Fantastic Lies of Grizzly Rose is one of the more artistic albums released this year, displaying a variety of sounds such as Italian waltz, country western, and “Misirlou”-style surf rock, but without ever getting too “out there”. Gemini studied classical music while growing up in Japan, and later she studied art in NYC, where she still resides. It’s apparent that her experiences with both eastern and western cultures is what grants her such an eclectic sound.
Gemini’s album is magical and visionary, capturing the essence of tranquility in tender lullabies.
Interview: Miwa Gemini Discusses her Seattle Show on the Grizzly Rose Tour
by Tom Mohrman
In Miwa Gemini's music we hear elements as disparate as the stylized, intense atmospheres of The Doors, Chris Garneau's playful, whispered pop experiments, and late Tom Waits' decadent sonic carnival. The female element of Miwa's delicate, magical soprano defies all comparisons, contributing to a sound that's quite unique in today's overcrowded music scene.
-Deli Magazine, NYC
The point is, the album is a rarity — a concept album that isn’t a total flop. I won’t give away the concept of “Fantastic Lies of Grizzly Rose,” because its something listeners must find out for themselves. But in a word, it’s fantastic.
-Red and Black
The first song on Miwa Gemini’s new record, “Picnic,” is a somewhat creepy song that brings to mind Tom Waits (but with a better singer) and Bjork (but with more linear songwriting). After all that quiet longing, the record transports us to barroom blues/country, with “Traveling Man.” Right after that comes “Something Ordinary:” A sad, old-style ballad. And I’m thinking, “Who is this chick?”
There’s just something so delicious about Miwa’s crisp Japanese accent coupled with the wonderfully original blues-flecked folk and country tunes that populate her second album This Is How I Found You.
-Wears the Trousers Magazine
It's so easy to find yourself headlong in love and knee deep in the warming affectionate embrace of ’this is how I found you.
Not many folks inspire comparisons to Patsy Cline and Bjork, but then there aren't many folks like Miwa Gemini. She spins rootsy pop and rock into her own stew of attitude and aggression. Even the mellow pieces have serious bite.
You know that feeling when a storm has just died? When the air is wet and cold and the world just feels incredibly fresh? Well, this album is the soundtrack to that moment. Emerging from New York like a newly hatched butterfly, Miwa’s gorgeous little album will give all those women that cry as soon as Bjork opens her mouth somebody else to get obsessed about. You know as well as I do that you need that kind of beauty in your life.
Cute as a button and talented as few, Miwa Gemini is a breath of fresh air to the female "singer-song writer" stable. Her voice is sweet, yet deep, and her folk-music stands out from the crowd thanks to the use of banjo and mandolin. It's a bit like throwing The Mountain Goats together with Nina Simone and Tom Waits: hazy, organic, and simply stunning.
Miwa is apparently daughter of a fisherman who grew up in a tiny island off of mainland Japan. Interesting? Not really, but her captivating sound equal parts grubby rockabilly, broken blues, and strange, winsome folk is. Haunting moments of Buckley's intimacy blend with the odd angrier PJ-esque moment to create something quite pleasant indeed.
If Gemini is principally an introspective folkie, she accompanied herself on a red electric guitar, and proved she could use it for more than gentle ripplings.
-Washington Post, Show Review
This Is How I Found You is a wispy collection of delicately woven songs that — while youthfully sweet and fairytale on the surface — embodies haunting themes full of the real-world heartache familiarly attributed to American country-western albums.
-Venus Zine , Interview
Miwa Gemini’s music feels like this kind of story, calling to mind those old, non-Disneyfied fairytales where people don’t always live happily ever after. Her rootsy, western-tinged songs don’t forget to take a glimpse at darkness.
-Jezebel Music, Interview
Today it is my pleasure to introduce Japanese born Miwa Gemini, who's set to release her second full length album, This Is How I Found You, here in the States.
-Main Stream Isn’t So Bad...Is It? Interview
Bits of the magical and mythical seep into her songs; there are bewitching moons and heartsick wishes at every turn. At times her delivery--a powerful pixie-like punctuation--is reminiscent of Bjork, and despite the often sad subject matter, inspires a giggly feeling. Gemini is, in short, enchanting.
-LAist, Show Review
Alone, but impervious at the front of the room, she radiates a powerful and unimposing charisma that rendered the small crowd of several dozen mute and enraptured. Even more impressive was that she accomplished this with little more than her guitar and a porcelain cat — and a little help from a friend on accordion during a couple of the songs — creating a simple, but enthralling, blues-tinged form of elfin folk.
-Sound Proof Magazine, Show Review
The artists listed as influences—Tom Waits, Johnny Cash, and so on—are there, but I also keep hearing something that nobody else is mentioning: I think Miwagemini sounds like Siouxsie Sioux run through a turn-of-the-century folk group.
The first thing that stands out on ‘This is How I found You’ is an element of Bjork like eccentricity to Miwa’s sound. However, Miwa manages to use this eccentricity to charm rather than annoy the listener.
The intimacy of her performance on the record is reminiscent of torchlight singers, a long forgotten style which was popular in the night clubs of the Left Bank in Paris, France throughout the early 20th century.
-I Heart Music
Perhaps the American answer to To Bring You My Love? Hmmmm. Almost, not quite yet. I need more to go on. But here's to good starts.