Tourist Season, the first musical outing from actress, comedian, and podcaster Miel Breadow is a brief exercise in catharsis — with the caveat that in this case, brief means ‘concise’ and not ‘underdeveloped.’
While its runtime just a whisper shy of twenty minutes would push it into ep territory, a track count of seven and a very deliberate structure make it feel like a work twice its size. It’s not a demonstrative collection of songs but a finite and coherent musical statement about something.
In this case, “something” is coping with the end of a relationship.
Sensory and intimate feelings
Columbus Day is a good example of the record’s understated style of production. It manages to turn a low tempo voice-and-guitar track into a tactile mix but doesn’t lose its stripped-down and intimate feeling. The use of vocal layers we find in the track, as well as its reverbs and delicate feedbacks, will be recurring sonic elements in the album.
I’ll Be Holding and Must Be Fine, that she released as singles, veer towards the synthpop end of the spectrum and deal more with remembrance than nostalgia. They are as suitable for night driving as they are for tipsy sad dancing.
Shrine proceeds as a gentle, bittersweet piano solo instrumental for more than half of its runtime, then surprises the listener and opens up in a dripping, shimmering soundscape. When the mix shrinks back down its tensions feel like they are releasing and in the following Early Hours the cycle finally feels complete.
Completing the cycle doesn’t mean everything can heal. It doesn’t mean a newfound awareness of one’s shortcomings or empathy for a former lover either, as those elements were there throughout the album.
What it does mean is the realization that in the face of lingering sadness and obvious regrets, there is still a space for tenderness.
You can also stream the album on Spotify or buy it on Miel’s Bandcamp.