Mia Sable describes her songs as “folk caberet trip pop indie alternative sad girl music”. And while it may sound complicated, it’s really quite simple. The genre-spanning songs are inspired by a respective range of artists, from the dark and quirky, to the catchy. Sable names Fiona Apple, Rilo Kiley, Lisa Loeb, Jon Brion, and Kurt Weill as influences to her personal brand of intellectual pop.
Mia Sable’s debut album, Propeller (2006), opens with a prelude bearing the same title, which asserts, “you’ve every right to your uncertainty, and me to my convictions, but if it’s true that we all remain traumatized at some childhood age, then I’ll just have to do better...propeller...” This sets the tone of Sable’s lyrics which reflect deeply on everyday mini dramas and moments, with the kind of honesty that makes it hard to pin whether Sable’s world is mostly jaded, or rather, hopeful clashing with a heavy helping of reality.
Now 22, Sable began writing poems and lyrics at 12 years old. “I remember in the grammar classes, learning about metaphors, and syllabic rhythms,” says Sable, “and maybe it makes me a dork, but I just loved it. And I loved my thesaurus, and I loved the idea that there were so many ways to recount images and ideas with words”. Growing up, Sable had to change schools every 2-3 years which she explains, “ probably aided in fueling this need I have to really...really connect with someone, anyone...That’s what my songs are about, the trial and error part anyway.”
Landing in Los Angeles in 2002, Sable spent a year fronting a local band, gaining hands-on experience recording in a studio, and touring the club circuit. Struggling with the need to contribute more than just a face and a voice to her music, she left the band to search for a way to use everything in her arsenal.
In the transitory time, Sable found night courses to take on music business, music contracts and law, and home recording. She also took up an internship at 4th Street Recording Studio in Santa Monica as assistant to owner, Kathleen Wirt. Being a young woman all alone in the city, these opportunities afforded her a foundation upon which to decide she would pioneer her own place in the music scene.
The daughter of a business entrepreneur, Mia Sable was a natural do-it-yourselfer, and once musically regrouping, she began writing and compiling home recordings, primed for a solo go-at-it. Sable founded her own record label, Moduristic Records, and then teamed up with Craig Bartock (guitarist and producer for rock legend, Heart) to record and co-arrange her songs. What began as an intended 3 song demo, due to significant interest and encouraging response, became material for an EP, that ended up becoming an album after all – Propeller. Grammy-nominated producer and engineer Jim Wirt (Incubus, Hoobastank, Fiona Apple) came onboard for 3 of the 12 album tracks. The prelude and interlude are simple recordings, which Sable made alone in her bedroom. They are a included as a tribute to the way in which all of her songs begin, as a search to express the words.
Propeller is a refreshing introduction to a young, beautiful, talented, and innovative new singer/songwriter who stands at the helm of a long career ahead.