(a)spera, Mirah’s fourth solo album, is her first since 2004’s excellent C’mon Miracle. It’s solo, yes, but she’s not alone: Longtime collaborator Phil Elverum contributed to three tracks and she collaborated with fellow Portlanders Tucker Martine and Adam Selzer along with Chris Funk, Tara Jane O’Neil and Lori Goldston. The collection’s out 3/10 via K, but we have the lovely “Gone Are The Days” today. We asked Mirah about it.
With the use of “we” instead of “I,” “Gone Are The Days” takes on a universal feel. Is it intended as parable? It could tie into another track, “The World Is Falling.” Actually, the more we dig, the more it seems like a concept album.
The theme is something like, have we really done this to ourselves, to each other? So, yes, there is a universal we in there. Some disbelief, some grief. Not to give it all away but that song is about the loss of industrious, bright energy, about the lethargy that modern
life and technology has introduced to our lives, about the forceful human greed to which so many planetary resources have been subject, it’s about loss, and the struggle between wild perfect nature (perfectly wild, destructive even) and human control. But it’s not all mopey negativity. All those things are part of our reality right now so it’s just realistic to acknowledge them and sing about them.
Respectfully, I would call it a sorrow song, with a little swing and a bit of hope at the end, but ultimately it’s a sorrow song.
You end the song by suggesting we steady the future with grace. How?
I think that singing is as close as I get to praying and that if I sing that line enough times then maybe I’ll know how to do it, I mean how to steady it. The future isn’t over, it’s just slightly out of reach at the moment because we’re still in this moment. The future is happening already, that’s why it’s never gonna lay down, we just have to not destroy ourselves before we get there and beyond.