Published Nov 18, 2015Merganzer is the solo project of Mika Posen, best known for her string contributions to Timber Timbre, Agnes Obel and Forest City Lovers. Her debut solo LP, Mirror Maze, quickly endears with its instrumentals that meld classical riffs with pointillist synths, created through an elaborate, sampler-based system channelling Posen's violin. But it's when Posen introduces her nimble, smoky voice that the tunes really shine, evoking the pensive compositions of Julia Holter or Arcade Fire's Funeral more than the haunting sparseness of her previous work.
Though the album has a tendency to overplay its classical fragility, it is at its best when pairing Posen's weightless voice and mellotron with anchors such as Krautrock rhythms and murmuring synths on closer "Tritone," and the drums and sweeping linear violin riffs on standout track "Vltava," which also references classical music both lyrically and compositionally.
If Timber Timbre is the soundtrack to Western and film noir, Posen's Merganzer could just as easily fit behind a ballet on this delicate yet emotive debut. (Independent)