Allow me to introduce you to Mieke (pronounced Meek-eh), a beautiful, talented young singer/songwriter based in Toronto. Her self-titled 4-track EP arrived August 28th (buy it here) or you can stream it on SoundCloud. Mieke (born Elissa Mielke) has a distinctive tone to her voice—an almost ethereal quality, if you will. While I am hypnotized by the delicate, breathy quality of her voice in places, there are many layers here which she peels back at different times throughout this short but captivating collection. Listen to one of my favorite tracks on the EP, “Sleeping Alone.“
She classifies her sound (with hashtags) on SoundCloud as “Alt/Folk/Thoughtful pop” which is bang-on as far as I’m concerned. Lyrically speaking, the EP reads decidedly folk but the melodies and production are more alt-pop leaning, infused with glistening electronic elements. Vocally, Mieke sounds like a blend of Jewel, Hannah Reid (from London Grammar) and Lana Del Rey mixed with some Stevie Nicks, Kate Miller-Heidke and Regina Spektor. In other words, mesmerizing.
I happened upon her email while on a plane to Seattle and was instantly drawn both to her sound and to her story. As a blogger, I get a lot of emails from independent artists doing their best to promote themselves, and I as a part-time blogger, do my best to listen to everything but unfortunately, some slip through the cracks. In her email, Mieke describes her journey as an artist, highlighting past problems with producers and major labels trying to push her career in a certain direction. But rather than relinquish creative control and cave to their demands, she chose to forge her own path as an independent artist. This is very admirable to me.
On her debut EP, Mieke worked with Toronto-based musician/producer Don Kerr and Howie Beck (Feist), recording the vocals in Don’s dining room (as scrappy independent artists often have to do). After she finished college, she made music her focus. As a means to pay the bills and make music, Mieke started modeling and acting part time (she appeared in The Weeknd‘s “The Zone” video), in fact many of her songs were written while traveling the world with her modeling career—Tokyo, London, New York and Los Angeles. The songs themselves come from a deeply personal place, which as a listener, makes you feel like a trusted friend, in turn making it personal for us as well. According to Mieke, “When I wrote my debut EP I thought I wrote these songs about someone else. It turns out I needed to hear them most of all.”
Watch the video for “Sleeping Alone,” which premiered on Noisey last week. Gorgeous. Excited to see what’s next for Mieke!