ALBUM PREMIERE: Vancouver Duo Mi’ens Keep the Energy High and the Rock Experimental on ‘Future Child’

Mi’ens is a mathy noise rock duo from Vancouver, Canada, founded in 2012. Experimental, with a side of sparklepop. Mi’ens is the female-fronted shredding of Kim Glennie on guitar/loops/Moog, backed by the polyrhythmic blastbeats of Evan Heggen on drums. Their unique brand of math noise consists of live loops, layered textural guitar and effects, the warm, analog drone of the Moog, coupled with well-placed vocalizations, all atop breakneck beats. Mi’ens veers into the territory of art rock/post rock on their latest, Future Child, due out September 25th via Kill Rock Stars, a follow-up to 2017’s Challenger, their 2014 LP experimentalsparklenoisepop and their 2013 self-titled debut. Mi’ens has toured the US, UK and Canada, and shared the stage with Tera Melos, Elephant Gym, LITE and Drug Apts.

Future Child is a departure and extension of their previous work, expanding on propulsive angularities, complex and experimental instrumentations, loops and feedback, the hum and whirr of the Moog, frenetic percussion, and intertwined guitar lines, from articulated to visceral. Recorded and mixed by Jesse Gander in spring of 2019 at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, Canada, and mastered by Stu McKillop, Future Child is heavier and tighter than past works, awash with technical soundscapes, percussive momentum, and an underlying warmth within the sonic assault. Jesse has recorded Brutus (Sargent House), White Lung (Domino), Japandroids (Polyvinyl) and is known for representing a band’s live energy while getting a thick, full sound. Kim produced the record, aiming to make the sound trippier and fuller than past outings, adding dense textures, buzz, blare and sonic experimentations. Hooks and explorations are at play within compositional frameworks, the dialogue between guitar, Moog, vocals and drums always pushing the boundaries.

Today Glide is excited to offer an exclusive premiere of the band’s new album. Beginning with title track “Future Child,” the duo fires out of the gate with a heavy barrage of thick riffing and a frenetic beat that continues with “French Disko,” an adrenaline-rush of a song that makes you want to Devo-dance all over your living room. They slow things down on the weird, fuzzed-out “Charge Dodger” and the heavy “Nu11 Set,” the latter of which sounds like it could be a sci-fi version of a Yo La Tengo instrumental. Other tracks find the band throwing in their hats with math rock, post punk, noise and experimental as they deliver swerving and jagged yet strangely melodic guitar that is contrasted by the thick Moog lines, super technical drumming, and the occasional vocal. There is something free-flowing to the music, yet at the same time it feels precisely arranged. This is the strangeness of Mi’ens, and it’s exactly what makes Future Child such a compelling listen. 

Kim Glennie offers a more in-depth look at the process and inspiration behind the album:

“On Future Child, I wanted to create a concept album that represents the imaginings of a Future World, a world that can be better than the dystopia in which we currently seem to find ourselves. Future Child is a departure and extension of our previous work, both tonally and lyrically. I wanted to play with themes of myth, dreamscapes, inequality, dystopia, connection and catharsis. I also wanted to explore sonic expansions, with propulsive angularities, complex and experimental instrumentations, loops and feedback, the hum and whirr of the Moog, frenetic percussion, and intertwined guitar lines, that oscillate between articulated and visceral.

Recorded and mixed by Jesse Gander in spring of 2019 at Rain City Recorders in Vancouver, Canada, and mastered by Stu McKillop, Future Child is heavier and tighter than past works, awash with technical soundscapes, Evan Heggen’s percussive momentum, and an underlying warmth within the sonic assault. Jesse has recorded Brutus (Sargent House), White Lung (Domino), Japandroids (Polyvinyl) and is known for representing a band’s live energy while getting a thick, full sound. I produced the record, aiming to make the sound trippier and fuller than past outings, adding dense textures, buzz, blare and sonic experimentations. Hooks and explorations are at play within compositional frameworks, the dialogue between guitar, Moog, vocals and drums always pushing the boundaries.

For the title track “Future Child”, I wanted to focus on a fast-paced futuristic feel, veering and weaving its way to a future star. I was inspired by avant-garde art movements and 70s sci-fi films. We mix elements of art rock, math rock and experimental noise at a frenetic pace. Within the final vocals, is a secret message from an ancient alien race, to keep a human touch in the machine. Future Child blasts its way to a future star, carrying a nostalgia for a near-past utopia: the future world.

“French Disko” keeps the pace, a nod to my love of Stereolab and the atmospheric fuzz added by analog synths to the chaos, noise and manic density of harnessed hooks, guitar phrases and tight, dynamic rock energy. La resistance!

Things get weird with fuzzed-out “Charge Dodger”. “On this track, I wanted to conjure a ride through a post-pandemic urban core, with a dig at slaves to consumerism and a subplot of alien abduction, all to the beat of backwards drums.” Simmering undercurrents build to the frantically abrasive buzz-saw finale, with punctuated and visceral beats, jagged, discordant guitar lines and experimental noisy Moog. Layers crescendo to an explosive, climax of feedback, screeches and sonic aggression, with icy vocals floating upwards as they drift to space.

“Alright we’ve come this far/
Let’s take off get in your car/
See the planets near and far/
Blast off to a future star.”

In “Rifft Valley”, I wanted to use the boundary of tectonic plates as a metaphor for the growing gap between rich and poor: ‘The few and what they own’. I also wanted to reference The Black Cone, First Monument To Civil Disobedience by artist Santiago Sierra in Reykjavik, which in turn references The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, more relevant today than ever.”

All tracks are written by Mi’ens, with the addition of guest guitarist and collaborator Steffen Sidiropoulos on final track, the expansive and cathartic post rock “Mondlandung” which elaborates on guitar interplay and dynamic song structures. The addition of another guitar voice allows for complex and evocative songwriting with more dynamism, layered and textural arrangements, unfurling instrumental passages and vocal sections. The powerful mesh of slow-swirling, interwoven guitars and Moog over fluid tapping build to an expansive and immense finale. “The lyrics are inspired by the Apollo 11 moon landing and its code writer Margaret Hamilton. I wanted to take the listener on a cosmic journey and encouraged them to “seek on” in their own life pursuits.”

“Seeker/ Seek on

Apollo’s code/ This lunar abode.”

LISTEN:

Photo credit: Duncan Cairns-Brenner

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