The ever patient Mia Doi Todd

Photo courtesy Howlin Wuelf Media


There exists in musician Mia Doi Todd’s voice a controlled element; a dam holding back an immeasurable presence. Elements that make up Todd’s arsenal include her long, drawn out syllables, both breathy and urgent. She is the accompaniment to the end of the day, a lingering sunset that spreads its warmth just a few seconds longer.

I first stumbled upon Todd’s work with Dublab Presents: Freeways where she sang the wildly textured Digital, Version 2.1, and since then I’ve found her presence both smooth and reassuring. Her voice is bare, existing on the forest floor, patient like a sprouting plant. Or a blend of paint that goes well with a number of genres. It’s no wonder why she’s sought after by so many producers, like Thavius Beck and Dntel.

Most recently Todd has covered a number of Brazilian songs with her album Floresta, and here she shows off her chops as a trained musician, presenting a certain reverence for the material. There was a time when children shared their joy, but as they grew older they learned about criticism and then it was just easier to be cynical. It seems that Todd is expressing her own joy in the Brazilian work, like the track Cais, a simple, but beautifully put together song that’s certain to linger long after the day is done.

Mia Doi Todd – Cais from Ania Nakov on Vimeo.

Nathan Solis is a Highland Park resident who writes about and photographs the L.A. music scene. You can find more of Solis’ stories, reviews and photos at Avenue Meander.

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