The album opens with ‘Good Ones’, starting with 15 seconds of reggae guitar followed by MIRI’s distinctive voice. The songwriting on this track is relatable, an excellent way to kick off her EP. Her voice is distinctive — in my own opinion, the most unique female voice I’ve heard since the late Amy Winehouse. Her voice has grit, but at the same time, her tone is rich and full of soul. The instruments on this track, and throughout the EP, for the most part, are just electric piano, drums, guitar, and bass. I love the bass on this track, simple but effective. MIRI’s voice shines bright, especially on the chorus, which is beautiful — almost haunting.
On ‘My Sweetheart’ the reggae style guitar and groove continues, accompanied by tambourine. Unlike the previous track, MIRI sticks mainly to her lower register on ‘My Sweetheart’. What I really noticed here is MIRI’s phrasing, it’s calculated and effective. Along with her phrasing, this is where you really hear her voice shine, thanks to the stripped-back production. The lyrics here are powerful and resonant, about two lovers in the LGBTQ+ community. It seems as though the love between the two, while strong, was short-lived, ultimately leaving both scarred emotionally. It’s a deeply heartfelt piece.
‘Somebody Save Me’ begins the second half of the EP. Everything changes here, becoming even stronger than before — especially sonically. The first seconds are quite jazzy and soulful, reminding me of David Bowie’s work on Blackstar. This track is the busiest on the EP. Musically, it differs, while retaining elements of the previous tracks, which were more bluesy. The chorus is some of the best songwriting I’ve heard in a long time, with perfect musical accompaniment. It seems like a call for help from MIRI, before she does something that she will ultimately regret. It is relatable on all levels, the repeated chorus closing it out.
‘Soundbites’ is my favourite track and arguably the strongest of the EP. Musically and vocally this is different in every way. The reverb of the piano starts, followed by haunting vocals from MIRI. The lyrics are memories, or soundbites, of her life which keep her going. The music is beautiful, and it features MIRI’s strongest vocals. There is more of a strain and urgency in her voice here, while remaining soulful. If only it was longer.
Soundbites is a 4-track experience which is better than a lot of full-length albums out there. The songwriting is incredible, the storytelling is poignant, and the singing is perfect. MIRI is a unique artist. I can visualise the crowd belting out choruses from these tracks at the likes of Glastonbury. I sincerely hope many more people out there listen to this EP — it deserves to be bigger. MIRI is a force to be reckoned with, an extraordinary talent.