Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.
Miwa Gemini at the Hotel Cafe | Photo by Lindsay William-Ross/LAist
When the opportunity to check out New York-based singer-songwriter Miwa Gemini live at the Hotel Cafe came up recently I jumped at the chance based on one line in the PR materials: "Think Nina Simone meets Sparklehorse meets Cat Power, and you're getting close." Intrigued, I showed up Sunday evening to the Hotel Cafe, nabbed a seat in the room's soothing darkness, and was utterly blown away.
Hailing originally from Japan, Gemini came to the US first as a high school senior via a study abroad program that took her to Columbus, Ohio. Craving the excitement of New York, Gemini moved eastward after high school, and studied graphic design at NYU then embarked on a career in photography. Music has always been a part of her life, and she soon began to write and record (Flagpole.com).
Gemini's stop at the Hotel Cafe was part of a tour in support of her current release, This Is How I Found You, which came out in March following an earlier Canadian release. Her sound is hard to pinpoint; her influences are clearly in the American songwriting traditions of folk, blues, country, and rockabilly, which oddly enough seems to put her in the catch-all contemporary category of "indie."
Miwa Gemini: "Pieces"
Gemini took the stage with just her guitar, playing a short set of songs from her current album and one brilliant cover that was unplanned. The overall tone of her music is moody and steeped in the conventions and lore of storytelling or a particular musical genre, for example, she explained that her song "Traveling Man" was written in the style of the great women of country, such as Dolly Parton, who all had mournful songs about men who went a-wandering.