The first song on an album can tell the listener a lot, especially if that listener isn’t too familiar with the artist. It can be the one determining factor whether song number two gets played or not—or even if the album will get a full listen.

For Thao & Mirah’s self-titled debut, 11-track LP, the opening track “Eleven” really pushes you forward to digest the rest of the album, with its unusual sound effects that start it out before harmonic voices over addicting beats and electro classes come fluttering in! After “Eleven,” I was intrigued and excited to find other gems in the album.

The duo of Thao Nguyen (of the Get Down Stay Down) and Mirah create music that’s a cross between several genres, including experimental electro, indie, folk-inspired and soulful tracks that all feature glistening vocals. Already solo artists, they joined forces after finding themselves in San Fran at the same time and figured it was time to make beautiful music together, which is what you get throughout Thao & Mirah.

“Little Cup” may have acoustic folk-like influences, but the finger-picked guitar chords mixed with tender songwriting makes you hit repeat when the song ends. Its little Duck Sauce “Barbra Streisand” hymn at the end (but much gentler) gives it a great kick, too! “Rubies and Rocks” is a bit edgier and has more of a soul/rock vibe to it that displays the girls’ grimier side. The trumpets provide some flair, while the vocals provide a bit of attitude.

“How Dare You” might come off as a slow jam, but the lyrics are too cool for school, as the duo musically puts you in your place. It starts off with some brazen beats before some sassy vocals take over.

Thao & Mirah is filled with more musical goodies and is one of those albums you can play from start-to-finish, which is a rare find these days. Great friends always make the best music, which is probably why Thao & Mirah is a notable debut from two skilled artists, who I can’t wait to hear more from in the future…and so will you!

Words: Kristie Bertucci

Artist: Thao & Mirah
Album: Thao & Mirah
Label: Kill Rock Stars
Release Date: April 26, 2011