On her latest recording, singer-songwriter, composer, arranger and classically trained pianist asia mei takes her listeners “through thoughts of trauma, acceptance and solace.” Her music is introspective and melancholy, with delicate piano playing and expressive vocals woven beautifully through each other. She’s accompanied by her musician husband Andrew Wilson on guitar, cellist Jordan Proctor and drummer Robert Sherwoon.
Stylistically, it’s all over the place, from chamber music to a sort of experimental jazz to a shuffling blues-rock to minimalist classical, and it’s done in such a seamless way that you hardly notice the drifting in and out of genres. The songs become these individual character pieces, like moody children, and the EP is a constantly changing kaleidoscope of perfectly constructed musical tapestries.
Born in Russia, Asia (Mei) Meirovich grew up in Israel and moved between Boston, New York City and Western Massachusetts. She’s a classically trained pianist and choral singer (Rubin Conservatory in Jerusalem) and has a degree in contemporary writing and production from Berklee College of Music in Boston. Her master’s degree in classical composition if from UMass Amherst, and she was the 2015 winner of the Ben Steinberg Young Composer Award for Jewish Choral Music. She performs as a rock musician, composes and works professionally as an arranger, studio assistant, musical director and educator. She refers to her sound as “moody piano rock.” Her debut album Shards was released in 2006. “Big Apple Tree” was released as a single in 2010, followed by her second album Introverse in 2011. This latest collection of emotionally sung, exquisitely composed songs, Trauma and Solace, was released last month.
I’m hoping asia won’t mind that I include this amazing cover of “Spoonful” that she recorded with her husband Andres. I guess this is what insanely talented musical scholars do on their semester break from graduate school. They “play around” with an old blues chestnut. Mind-blowing.