The Mietus Touch effortlessly conjures up mellow gold on his supremely satisfying album Transcendental Souvenirs — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The debut full-length from Chicago singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Joseph Mietus, the stylish Transcendental Souvenirs woos you with a blissfully romantic blend of chilled-out glam-funk and shimmering AM pop, expertly and tastefully fashioned from sweetly swirling synthesizers, seductively intimate vocals and sultry late-night grooves.
Taking sonic cues from Tame Impala and embracing the genre eclecticism of Prince, Benji Hughes and Connan Mockasin — along with the stylistic influence of virtually every song Mietus has heard since grade school — the album “started as a love letter to friendship and deep personal connection and became a tale of heartbreak and ultimately healing,” he says.
The sonic journey kicks off with the luscious single Digits, which grooves on the thin line between funk and R&B, where waves of synthesizers wash over you and a nimble bassline underpins Mietus’s whispery croon and piercing guitar work.
Enticing and irresistible, Digits sets the tone — and the high bar — for rest of the seven-track effort, which runs the gamut from dry-ice electric-piano ballads (Send Soul) and synth-squiggled lovelorn laments (Last Lost Look) to gently pumping slow dances (Edge Of Heaven) and smouldering psychedelic soul (Maybe I’m A Coyote).
The disc sails into the sunset with an unforgettable reimagining of Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s classic Moon River, which flows through a dreamscape of bossa nova, torchy lounge jazz and ’70s synth-soul. Transcendent, indeed. And incredibly impressive, especially considering Mietus wrote, performed, recorded, produced and mixed every note on his own at home.
When not hunkered down sculpting sound and molding melody, Mietus has played every venue in Chicago short of the United Center — including Taste of Chicago — and has sold out shows at the Metro and Congress Theatre. He has toured the U.S. and France, enjoyed a smattering of TV and radio appearances, and performed a Daytrotter session as the guitarist/keyboard player for Jon Drake & The Shakes. On top of that, he’s also an accomplished rainbow portrait photographer.