Black Door Records / MGM
It’s been five long years since Mia Dyson last released an album, five years which, for her, have yielded much and taken same, the tribulations of life in general wreaking havoc and yet, concurrently, offering much from which to draw, from which to take and create. The five years past have changed the field of play then, and presented Dyson with a blank canvas, and given she’s the artist of such considerable depth we’ve come to know and love in this country, she’s painted upon said canvas The Moment, and it’s nigh on a masterpiece.
It begins with ‘When The Moment Comes’, which starts with a single acoustic guitar before building into a lush sonic behemoth that rumbles across the soundscape like a great, big, jangly thing, as graceful and elegant as it is booming and large. From there, Dyson strips it back somewhat and what follows is a collection of songs, each of which seem to tap into a different emotion, a different element of American life and music (the US being where Dyson has been based for the past three years), laying bare for all to see not only her struggles and triumphs, but her growth as a musician and as a songwriter, as a person perhaps.
For me, there are two particular standout tracks – the long, slow stretch of ‘Tell Me’, stamped from top to bottom with Dyson’s earthy, visceral, whiskey-smooth vocal, a song which breaks your heart before stitching it back together, her voice rising and swelling before settling once more.
And then there’s the slow burn of ‘Cigarettes’, with that unmistakable Dyson guitar tone, the building shimmer of Lee Pardini’s organ, it shuffles along at the pace of an old man on his way back to the bar, so reminiscent of Lucinda Williams (more so than anything Dyson has crafted before), an absolute gem of a song which burns with intensity, “…a mighty fire”, as Dyson herself sings.
In fact, this whole record is a mighty fire. For while Dyson has always delivered the goods, with The Moment she’s defined herself as an artist, as a person and as a musician to be truly reckoned with, on a global scale. An epic piece of work.
Samuel J. Fell