Six years after bursting onto the scene and going back-to-back with Skrillex at Bonnaroo, Mija has delivered her first official full-length album, Desert Trash. (Editor’s note: How To Measure The Distance Between Lovers was released in 2018, but the press release calls this album her debut, and HWMTDBL her debut EP, so we’re going with that.) EDM hasn’t been entirely eschewed from this project, as Mija utilizes elements of house, techno, and drum & bass in various tracks. But EDM is not the goal here, it merely helps as a conduit for what she wants to express. More so in the confines of this album, indie electronic elements, slowly sweeping synths, and a heavy emphasis on Mija’s own vocals comprise the bulk of the project.
Desert Trash more closely resembles the likes of Purity Ring, Grimes, CHVRCHES, and similar artists in Mija’s delivery. It’s tinged with electronic elements, like a froyo with toppings — but the toppings aren’t where the froyo gets its flavor from. Much of the album exists in a quiet room, as if Mija is just singing to herself. “I wrote this album with the intention of stripping down all the excess and focusing on what truly matters to me,” she says, “self-expression, realness, and the story.” As she stepped outside her comfort zone, it became a catalyst for her as an artist to grow and evolve.
“‘Desert Trash’ is who I am. It’s what I’ve identified with my whole life.” – Mija
The whole album should be listened to as a singular entity, with the exception of singles “Desert Trash” and “Digressions.” As the two bookends of the album, it makes sense that they would stand out sonically — the rest of the album is a wonderful maelstrom of sound and emotion that should ensnare you and prevent you from escaping.
Listen to Desert Trash, the debut album from Mija, below.
Tomorrow, Mija sets off on her new live tour featuring a three-piece band and herself on vocals, an experiment that began on her appropriately-named “Band Practice” tour in which she sang and played instruments live for the first time. Before each album show, fans will have the opportunity to attend an art gallery featuring 40+ new and original paintings made by Mija. After being displayed in each city, the paintings will be made available for purchase online.
Photo via Quasar Media