Anais Mitchell - Anais Mitchell LPBMG
After spending over a decade immersed in Hadestown, the Broadway musical that spun out of her 2010 concept album based on a Grecian myth, Mitchell now focuses on telling her own story. Throughout, her thoughts are pulled in two directions: backward to her younger self and ahead to the magnificent, “one in a million” future. She approaches her childhood with care and concern on “Revenant” and “Little Big Girl,” while “Bright Star” and “On My Way (Felix Song)” chart ascension and ambition—though the latter is equally occupied with mourning the late songwriter and producer Edward “Felix” McTeigue. “You get one take,” Mitchell sings. Anaïs Mitchell feels appropriately daunted; aging is surreal and unstable, the road to success steep and intimidating. On the closing piano ballad “Watershed,” the climb is all but endless.
Minute vocal manipulations render Mitchell’s words more complex than they first appear. (Look to the first line of the opening song: “Over Brooklyn Bridge” soars vocally then falls nasally, quietly, into “in a taxi.”) She often closes her lines with defined consonants, setting off a phrase with the gravity of a gentle click. She has a deft touch with rhetorical elements, as on “Little Big Girl,” which teases out the tension between age and youth by repeating the words “you grow up” until the variations mount into decades.