Chicago singer-songwriter Gia Margaret makes what she calls “sleep rock.” Its mellow vibes make it well-suited for early-morning or late-night listening, while its catchy melodies and driving beats can get heads nodding—albeit gently. Margaret’s 2018 debut full-length, There’s Always Glimmer, creates inviting atmospheres with crisp production and varied instrumentation: Margaret’s double-tracked vocals glow amid a calming mix of electronic drums, piano, and guitar. She builds upon that foundation on her new second album, Mia Gargaret (Orindal), though unlike its predecessor, it’s largely an instrumental record—she sings only on the closing track, “Lesson,” and occasionally samples voices, including a lecture by British philosopher Alan Watts. Margaret made it while recovering from an illness that robbed her of her singing voice for about half of 2019; rather than put music aside, she adapted in order to move forward. Opening track “Apathy,” released as an early single, channels Mort Garson’s Plantasia, with a hypnotic looped arpeggio of synth and piano that evokes stillness as well as growth. Near the end, Margaret introduces a sample from one of her vocal-therapy sessions, where she’s dealing with the loss of her primary instrument but staying determined and optimistic. Elsewhere she translates her compositional voice to other instruments: on “Lakes,” a field recording of waves ushers in acoustic and effected guitars. No matter the tools she uses, these songs convey patience and a thoughtful way of developing ideas. Margaret’s choice to conclude the album with “Lesson” suggests that she’ll eventually return to the singer-songwriter style of There’s Always Glimmer, but I hope she also continues to explore the approaches here. Necessity is the mother of invention, and Mia Gargaret makes it clear that it’s necessary for her to make music any way she can. – Izzy Yellen, Chicago Reader
- Official Website
- "Birthday" music video
- "In Normal Ways (demo)" video
- "Shh Goodnight" video
- Chicago Tribune feature
- Stereogum premieres "Birthday"
- Sasha Geffen reviews "Birthday" for Pitchfork
- The Line of Best Fit premieres "Smoke"
- The 405 interviews Gia Margaret
- The Chicago Reader reviews There's Always Glimmer
- The Line of Best FIt reviews There's Always Glimmer
- Various Small Flames reviews There's Always Glimmer
- Pitchfork reviews There's Always Glimmer
- Stereogum names Gia Margaret one of the 40 Best New Bands of 2018
- There's Always Glimmer is GoldFlakePaint's favorite album of 2018
- Line of Best Fit "On the Rise" feature
- Gorilla Vs. Bear premieres "apathy" & "body"
- Beats Per Minute shares "apathy" & "body"
- Stereogum shares "apathy" & "body"
- The Line of Best FIt shares "apathy" & "body"
- The Fader premieres "barely there" with an interview with Gia Margaret
- Izzy Yellen reviews Mia Gargaret for the Chicago Reader
- Philip Moss reviews Mia Gargaret for Secret Meeting
- Chris Gee reviews Mia Gargaret for Exclaim!
- Craig Howieson reviews Mia Gargaret for The Line of Best Fit
- Mia Gargaret reviewed on NPR's All Songs Considered
- Emma Bowers interviews Gia Margaret for NPR
- Rae Niwa reviews Mia Gargaret for Clash Magazine
- Quinn Moreland reviews Mia Gargaret for Pitchfork
- Jon Doyle reviews Mis Gargaret for Various Small Flames
- Mia Gargaret is one of NPR's 25 Favorite Albums of 2020 (So Far)
- Mia Gargaret is featured in Bandcamp's Best Ambient column
- Fractured Air interviews Gia Margaret
- Mia Gargaret makes Bandcamp's Best Ambient Releases of 2020 list
- Mia Gargaret makes Bob Boilen of NPR's Best Music of 2020 list
- Mia Gargaret makes Gorilla Vs. Bear's favorite albums of 2020 list
- Poppy Booth reviews Mia Gargaret for Words For Music