Sometimes you hear a band that seems like it came from your wildest dreams; everything from their music to their personas click with you. And then sometimes there are bands that just sounds better on paper or seem better suited to a fictional world. Miranda Sex Garden is one of those bands.
I first came across the band in the early aughts when I was still working at Borders. Their CD Carnival of Souls was featured on one of the pop/rock listening posts for a few months but I stayed away. Between the name & the album art, the band walked an uncertain line between the over-erotic & the overly ridiculous. But then I heard their song “Ardera Sempre” on a compilation from Hot Topic. It was a vaguely Celtic/tribal instrumental with dramatic vocalizations & a fiddle played within an inch of its life. My curiosity was piqued.
The best way to describe Miranda Sex Garden would be “The Pogues for the Goth set.” If you want something like Mono (the band) but with gloomy lyrics, you’d like MSG. Their music mixes atmospheric rock, goth, & folk–a soundtrack for any Hot Topic lifer. (Which I thought I was at one point.) The problem is that they have such a specific approach, listeners will feel like they’ve stepped into a Neil Gaiman or an Annette Klause Cruise story. And while I admit it would be cool to slip into one of these worlds, it’s unnerving to me to listen to a band that is so genre-specific.
I must make a small confession here: I may be a geek & an occasional fangirl but, as my best friend once described me, I am not a joiner. I might write a fanfic or act out my little fantasies on The Sims but I keep it on the DL. Listening to Miranda Sex Garden is like finding out filk exists. It’s a logical outgrowth of a preference and a scene but its embarrassing for me to imagine actually joining in. So, really, my avoidance of Carnival of Souls is really more of a denial from someone who recognizes that something in the music is enticing her. With that said, the music on Carnival of Souls is interesting enough if you’re willing to take in MGS’s diverse approach. As for me, I’m sending the CD on its way, knowing I appreciate its uniqueness better & need to work on owning my own weirdness.