Classically trained, defiantly original harpist Mikaela Davis' plea for patience – a little bit sweet, a little bit angry and raw – fed her new fierce 10-song collection Delivery. A joyride that pulls from folk rock, 70s and 80s pop experimentation, and muscly funk, Delivery manages to be both daring and comfortable, full of not just risks, but hooks. Produced by Grammy winner John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, David Byrne, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), it's a triumphant next chapter. Childhood friend Alex Coté (drums, percussion) and Shane McCarthy (bass) play on the record while the ensemble is rounded out with the addition of Shane's older brother Cian McCarthy on guitar.
If a sad smile made a sound, it'd be like the lilting piano that kicks off the album's title track, which is also the project's opener. The initially pared-down instrumentation gradually swells as the lyrics move from self-doubt and disillusionment to grateful acknowledgement of steadfast love. Gritty Joni Mitchell-meets-dirty '70s porn cut "Get Gone" vamps in next. Mikaela wrote or co-wrote all of the tracks save one, the beautifully forlorn "Emily," penned by Alex. Bewitching harp kicks off the track, which pulses with empathy and grace, and features moody background vocals from The Staves. "A Letter I'll Never Send" is innocent and starry eyed before morphing into buzzy chaos, tracing the arc of a doomed relationship. "Little Bird" is another song that both ponders and undergoes transformation: its delicate beginning builds into full-bodied swagger. Haunting "Pure Divine Love" soars on psychedelic strings and vocals, again with background harmonies from The Staves.
Danceable "Other Lover" puts what Mikaela can make her harp do on brilliant display – funk has never sounded so angelic and swampy all at once. With its dreamy staccato, "Do You Wanna be Mine" also re-imagines what a harp can do, while singalong "In My Groove" captures the challenges, confusion, and freedom that comes with finding your own way. Mikaela's favorite track, "All I Do is Disappear," explores the struggle to be seen for who you truly are instead of what others want you to be. While most of the songs began as personal mediations and even acts of defiance, Delivery's messages of resilience and embracing what makes you unique lands universally with the listener.