SONG PREMIERE: Mimi Oz Displays Studio-Coated Folk Coolness Via Gritty “Time Will Tell”

If the soulful sounds of Yola ever merged with the edgy alt of Phoebe Bridgers, the passionate artistic flair of Mimi Oz would surely emerge. This Canadian singer-songwriter and visual artist brings a gritty artsy folk grandeur to her songbook that is tough as nails and melodically moody in all the right spots.

Oz’s new album, the self-produced Growing Pains aims to consolidate Oz’s talent into a caravan of styles and emotions, melding elements of soul, rock n’ roll, and jazz to her ever-growing sonic palette. Throughout the album, Oz tethers even the most oblique lyrics to the current sociopolitical climate, and even the most personal to our universal experiences. Maybe more prominent and poignant than her lyricism and genre-hopping, though, are the cascading themes of alienation, yearning, and pain, all of which hint at the degrees of Oz’s own empathy and the struggles inherent in being an artist in 2021, in New York City, in a pandemic, and in a time when everyone can’t help but ask “is it worth it?”


Growing Pains, is a self-produced, seven-song body of work recorded in both Toronto and NYC. Mixed by Grammy-winning engineer L. Stu Young, Growing Pains features performances by New York cellist/songwriter Meaner Pencil, keys, organ and Wurlitzer by Aidan Scrimgeour and longtime Canadian collaborator Richard Weisdorf. Track “Call Me Crazy” was co-written by Mike Milazzo, with string arrangements by Dan Ricker of Under St Marks Theatre NYC. A guest performance by members Leigh MacDonald and Josh Aguilar of the Memphis group Zigadoo Moneyclips for the track “Caroline” was recorded by Grammy-nominated engineer and producer Ari Morris. Mimi arranged all harmonies, string and horn sections, as well as playing acoustic guitar on select tracks, including the ballad “Star 111.”

Glide is premiering the potent track “Time Will Tell” (below) one that Oz dashes a studio-coated coolness atop her forthright lyrics.

“In a lot of ways this was a break up song. I tend to have an ongoing struggle that I think a lot of people in the arts have, which prevents them from fully embracing or believing that romantic love is possible for them. It’s the idea that you can either have love, or have a fulfilling creative career, but you couldn’t have both at the same time. The feeling behind the writing definitely came from that belief system, but there was a bit more to it. In a sense it’s about wanting to believe in a romantic love that lasts, but kind of knowing deep down as the song states, time will tell. The effect that time has over the way we grow and change as individuals, and the way that life moulds one is ultimately stronger than the desire that two people have to stay together for the sake of staying together. It was about the lesson that just because someone is good to you, doesn’t mean they are good for you. People you know forever can change overnight,” describes Oz.

Oz first burst onto the scene in 2013 with Three of Swords, an original debut produced by Toronto’s Bob Wiseman (Blue Rodeo). In 2015, she released her second album, Men Who Never Loved Me, and 2017 saw the release of a band EP, Baby On The J, by Mimi’s anti-folk group Rooster. Growing Pains was partly inspired by New York City, where Oz lived from 2018-2019. “Being in an area with such a rich artistic history really rubbed off on me and brought out so much creativity,” Mimi says.


 

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