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September 19, 2023 • 8:00 pm PDT
In Miya Folick’s new record Roach, she doesn’t refer to the album’s title until halfway through the tracklist. The song is “Cockroach,” a self-produced ripper that starts with droning synthesizers and bursts into dizzying drums. She sings “Crush me under the weight / Bitterness, jealousy, hate / Cause I’m a fucking cockroach and you can’t kill me.” It’s a fitting image, dropped right into the middle of an album that stares you straight in the eye. On Roach, Miya shares her ugliness, her joy, her struggle, all of it, and does so in a way that lets you know it’s okay. That there’s going to be messiness, but she’ll get through it, and that’s okay.
Since her critically acclaimed debut album, Premonitions, came out in 2018, Miya has been through quite a bit of messiness and struggle. She quit drugs. She went through a breakup. She left her previous label (Interscope/Terrible) and signed with a new one (Nettwerk). She struggled to make this follow up record into what she wanted it to be, building and rebuilding each song, throwing away some full productions when she didn’t feel they were right. And just as she was finally figuring out this new record, her father suddenly passed away. The final pieces of the record were put together as Miya moved through her grief. With earworm melodies, straight-shooting poetry, and genre-hopping production, Roach documents the head-spinning highs and soul-crushing lows of one woman’s bumpy, imperfect life. Says Miya, “It’s an album about resilience, growth, and honesty. It’s about trying to get to the core of what life really is.” The title pays homage to Clarice Lispector’s The Passion According to GH, a 1964 novel that heavily influenced Miya’s writing and thinking. “That book made me understand something about myself. This sense that I am always quivering. That somehow simple things feel huge and hard for me. There’s beauty in that sense of agitation but also danger.” Roach is something of a coming-of-age story housed inside a tilt-a-whirl. “I think over the course of writing this record, I actually did the work and got closer to the person that I really want to be,” she explains, “But that path isn’t linear, I still have moments where I disappoint myself, where I’m angry with myself. That’s why the album might feel a bit emotionally dizzying. It’s not a straight path.”
Miya Folick will be live at the Roxy Theatre on Tuesday, September 19, with support from BABEBEE.