Ms. Mia – Living In The Shadows (Ms. Mia)

Ms. Mia is a Filipina singer-songwriter based in in Auckland. And, after releasing three singles, we now get her debut EP, titled Living In The Shadows.

Two of those singles, This Game and Going For The Kill are included here (her first, Strange Life, was featured last year on a 13th Floor Singles Session).

Ms. MiaMia states in her press release, “The whole EP was built around the theme of ‘living in the shadows’, so it captures that journey but also gives a hint of optimism, so I hope [listeners] go on this emotional, sonic journey and feel something – maybe be inspired to move out of the shadows and into the light.”

So, does the EP come across as a singular statement or a string of singles? A bit of both, really.

First off, let me just say that Ms. Mia has a wonderful, expressive voice that makes all five tracks extremely listenable. Opening track Shadows (there’s that concept) features a funky bassline, some finger snaps and a feisty vocal from Mia…a great start.

It’s followed by Butterflies, a moodier tune that promises some diversity and delivers. At this point I’m going to cut and paste to tell you who is making this music along with Mia:

Those musicians and collaborators include Fiachra Kinder (drummer for Hozier hit single ‘Take Me To Church’) on drums/percussion, Tee Hao-Aicken (Ersha Island) – violin, Sam Mandeno-Clay Borderline)- guitar, 김연범 (B.Bum) – bass, Christian Tjandrawinata – guitar/bass/synth, Dean Rodrigues – bass/drums/percussion and Clarissa Chai – synth and all programmed instruments. Producer Clarissa Chai was also involved in co-writing, mixing and producing, while recording engineer's Christian Tjandrawinata and Emily Wheatcroft-Snape worked on it across Roundhead Studios (‘Shadows’ + ‘Not Cryin’), Parachute Studios (‘This Game’ + ‘Going For The Kill’ ) and Movespace (‘Butterflies’) – before the EP was mastered by Chris Chetland at Kog Studios.

Newest single, Going For The Kill sits in the middle of the set and it is probably my least favourite. Mia turns in a sassy performance but the production falls a little flat…and the bottom end drags it down.

Fortunately things pick back up with This Game…with a lovely violin break…and finally Not Cryin’ where the production does go in interesting places. There is drama, there is passion and grit…not bad for a first EP and plenty of reason to look forward to a full-length album from Ms. Mia sometime down the line.

Marty Duda

Living In The Shadows is released tomorrow, June 7th. Pre-order here