MIA SHEARD Anemone (independent) Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Mia Sheard could make the Tim Hortons jingle sound like an otherworldly invocation to the gods. The local singer-songwriter has a gift for phrasing and a great voice -- it wraps itself like a boa constrictor around fragmented, even ugly melodies, spanning an awesome range and squeezing out a shimmering beauty. Those pipes are put to good use on Anemone. Sheard rocks out more here than she did on the earlier Reptilian, and her quivering, shivering soprano burbles out from underwater depths of feedback-heavy electric guitar. There's definitely more bite on this disc, possibly because it's Sheard's first since her breakup with producer/partner Michael Philip Wojewoda. But her co-production credits on Anemone and the cohesive strength of the album prove that Sheard's a considerable artistic force on her own. Mia Sheard presents Anemone at the Rivoli Saturday (September 14).