The subsequent record, with the deceptively simple title Thao & Mirah, is a synergetic fusion of their two distinct musical styles, and exhibits a rich and eclectic sound. Produced by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yaRds and released on Kill Rock Stars in April 2011, Thao & Mirah is at times bouncy and catchy, at times hushed and sweet, and at times dark and introspective. Yet it is always enjoyable.
For this Live at KDHX session, Thao & Mirah played three tracks: "Folks," "How Dare You" and "Little Cup." Thao (known for her work with Thao With the Get Down Stay Down) takes the lead on "Folks," her slow, crooning vocals rising and falling, about to give way to angst, while backed by a twanging guitar and Mirah’s soft singing. In contrast, Mirah’s gentle voice rushes ahead on the fast-paced "Little Cup" and is backed by a rhythmic percussion, deep strings and harsh whispers from Thao. "How Dare You" features both singers and the light synth work of Garbus, with the verses following a call-and-response pattern and the chorus a duet format. While both artists wrote lyrics apart, each song was developed in collaboration; the set is ultimately a hybrid of their musical styles.
The duo toured in May and June of 2011, stopping in St. Louis midway before concluding in San Francisco. While on tour, and with the help of the organization Air Traffic Control, Thao & Mirah donated part of their ticket sales to local domestic violence shelters and childhood sexual abuse prevention programs.
Photos by Kate McDaniel.