Mirel Wagner's songs are like a smooth, polished pebbles thrown into a bottomless pond, drops of life that set the darkness rippling. Her acoustic balladry is as far as you’ll get from clichéd coffeehouse folk, having more to do with the primeval darkness of Swans than Bob Dylan. Raised in a quiet suburb of Helsinki, her background couldn't be more conventional. But the nine songs of her self-titled debut distill the very essence of darkness, the hollowed-out bones of the blues. They seem ancient, worn, and honest. When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day is a cohesive set of songs, written in a log cabin on the peninsula of Hailuoto in northern Finland. It traces the melody absentmindedly—at times playful, at other times chilling, they are difficult to pin down.
Watch Wagner's video for "Oak Tree" from her forthcoming album: