Folk songstress Mimi Gilbert has just released her thoughtful new project Grew Inside the Water. The intimately poignant collection of tracks comes after Mimi's 2016 debut effort Strangers Don't Exist and 2017 follow up B Sides. This latest effort also follows a slew of singles including the crooning "Dark Storm," the airy "Society's a Mansion" and the steadily percussive title track. Crafting excellent indie folk throughout Grew Inside the Water, she has developed an excellent sense of rhythm, honesty, and grace. Gilbert's talents as a singer and instrumentalist are apparent throughout and they mesh together seamlessly across the track list. These songs make up a tremendous feat of moody autumn folk.
Grew Inside the Water kicks off with "Coff's Harbor," an atmospheric scene that feels like the hum of waves crashing against cliffs in the distance. It's a mysterious start to the album with an urgent hollowness that leaves listeners curious to see what else Gilbert has in store. Later on is "Losing Your Mind," which powerfully grapples with mental health struggles over a more grandiose electronic instrumental. It's fascinating to see Gilbert tackle different lanes of folk music here, as she can excel in varying levels of urgency, intensity, and style. One of the album's greatest moments comes at the end with the closing track "When You Rise," which gradually builds up with heavenly vocals and rich strings. Here Gilbert reaches a certain blissful divinity that's a fitting end to an excellent folk journey.
Mimi Gilbert's latest album is a tremendous achievement. It's a wildly engaging display of immersive folk music that is excellent on all fronts; Gilbert can do it all. Along with her sheer talent, Gilbert has a striking sense of composition and patience with her music, as she knows how to balance her rich instrumentals with her dynamic voice. Grew Inside the Water sets the bar extremely high in an industry that has a growing demand for compelling folk.