CJ’s Mirra Maze has today premiered his new video for the track titled ‘Dreaming In The Valley’. A lush and vivid soundscape, the video provides a visual influence for an atmospheric feeling dreamt from a song. But, that is not needed, The song is in a world by itself with a gorgeous buildup to the perfect chorus while remaining sonically humble yet signature.
About CJ’s Mirra Maze
CJ’s Mirra Maze Shines on breezy indie-pop gem ‘Dreaming In The Valley’ The musicality of CJ’s Mirra Maze, the new project from London-based artist / composer CJ Mirra, is inspired by all the genres he’s loved throughout his life. The brand new release ‘Dreaming In The Valley’, co-written with Kai Campos (Mount Kimbie), is released this October and will see CJ Mirra hit the road for a series of UK shows in November with PANCHIKO.
Flowing with fluid dynamism and introspective musings, ‘Dreaming In The Valley’ draws on a myriad of influences from celestial pop to pared down indie-folk sensibilities.
CJ Mirra says:
“Dreaming In The Valley was written when I was sharing a studio with good friend Kai Campos (from Mount Kimbie),’ Kai came up with that amazing, wonky hypnotic riff. I’d been working on some lyrics about new life and rebirth when my partner was in intensive care while carrying our first child and wanted to make this beautiful, simultaneously joyful & melancholic track full of contradictions that sort of prop-each other up and so we built the track up from that. I used some incredible drum recordings I’d made with Kev Bales from Spiritualized that really brought the track to life. The feel of the music really amplifies those feelings from the lyrics and is the perfect next step into the Mirra Maze. It’s great timing too as another track I’d written with Kai called Bixby Canyon has just been released for the Allen Ginsberg Fall of America Vol.2 Compilation which also features Ai Wei Wei Phillip Glass and many other artist I’m inspired by.”
“Dreaming in the Valley” marks CJ’s first band project since his tenure in genre-bending art rock group, Swimming – who over 2 industry-shifting albums, garnered worldwide support for their experimental live shows, binaural recordings and fluid sonics – netting top 10 album plaudits from Clash, support on Radio 1, 6Music, KMCR and touring with Killing Joke,Chairlift, PVT and more.
The ‘Mirra Maze’ debut tracks make for a dazzling listen, described as maximalist, neopsych pop music through an electronic lens. With only one single out, (Self Medicate) CJ has already been invited on a UK tour with cult phenomenon, Panchiko and garnered support from the likes of Anthony Fantano (The Needle Drop), Under The Radar & 6Music.
The music recalls everyone from Toro Y Moi to Tame Impala via the emotional allure of Blood Orange, or the daring evolutionary instincts of LA Priest. It comes from a very pure and thrilling place, one of unbridled invention and a commitment to melody. Starting at the beginning, CJ had a nomadic upbringing – with Neapolitan, British and Australian heritage, his childhood was spent moving around Australia, as well as living on small island in the Indian Ocean. His family then moved to the British Midlands where he spent his formative years playing in a couple of experimental, genre-bending bands when a film director discovered his music after CJ had mistakenly shared it publicly on Soundcloud.
The director was Chris McClean, recruiting CJ Mirra to soundtrack to Beyond The Scars, a stunning look at cold water surfing. Plaudits and awards followed, with Channel 4 getting behind the film – suddenly, he was plunged into the soundtrack realm.
As word spread, CJ Mirra became a specialist in composing for surf films, his dreamy and evocative, widescreen electronics taking on a human tone. This has led him in 2021/22 to score two series of the hit Apple TV+ series ‘Make or Break’ about the World Surf League – the biggest surf competition in the world.
While scoring occupied his world, it was when CJ was sharing a studio in north London with Mount Kimbie that CJ’s Mirra Maze was born and the first demos of upcoming single, Dreaming In The Valley started to take shape. This psych- tinged, deeply melodic track was built around an arrestingly beautiful hook, driven by an infectious beat laid down by Kevin Bales from Spiritualised which is all the more apt for the spiritual themes explored in the lyrics.
It’s a fitting follow up to the debut single ‘Self Medicate’, a curiously infectious, beat-heavy, hypnotic piece, that flits between psychedelic electronics and lysergic melodies. Lyrically, he opts for something harsh and unrelenting, cutting into the acid-flecked phantasies the music suggests for a song about the casualties of addiction. In his words, “we all have the instinct to self-medicate with our addictions of choice, this, for me was filling the gap of finding a deeper sense of purpose.”
Mirra Maze is a life-changing shift in CJ Mirra’s work, “this project allows me to be deeply personal, and reflect a new dream-like reality, and talk to the people I love through these songs.”
With the debut Mirra Maze album close to completion, CJ continues to compose to picture. The musical output of working on the album naturally developed to embrace other cinematic endeavors, including CJ’s 2020 debut, award-winning, feature film score for Ruth Paxton’s acclaimed body-horror A Banquet and the BAFTA nominated, Sundance winning film, Lizard directed by Akinola Davies Jr.
‘Dreaming In The Valley’ will be released on his own label, Colour8 and published by North West Songs in Oct 23, while his expertly curated social media feeds both reveal and disguise, perpetuating mystery while building entire worlds.