While the songs on Breathe and Let Go were written and recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic had entered anyone’s consciousness, Twiddle guitarist and vocalist Mihali’s first solo album is the perfect record for our suddenly different times. While the contexts of each song are far different than the context they’ve been released in, starting with opening and title track, the theme throughout Breathe and Let Go is one of human resilience in the face of challenges, disappointment and – yes – disaster. And the moral of every story is that by maintaining a positive attitude, taking deep breaths and facing adversity head-on, we will all get to a better “other side.”
Starting a decade ago, Mihali started doing solo tours around his native Vermont, carrying his looping gear with him instead of a band, playing covers and originals and creating a sound distinct from Twiddle’s, while building his own following. A following that wanted to hear what the originals would sound like on a record. “My main focus was always Twiddle,” says Mihali. “I had this sense of wanting to do a record, but the time, resources and vibe had to be right.”
The result is an album reflecting stellar musicianship, but where the stars are the songs, which are examples of “what I loved to listen to growing up,” according to the composer. “Before I got into the jam world, it was raw songwriting that resonated with me,” something made clear by the concise quality of each tune on Breathe and Let Go. “I felt strangely nostalgic listening to the album. It’s my past and present, but also my future.”
Once the songs were written, Mihali recruited friends like Citizen Cope, G. Love, Nahko and Trevor Hall to make musical contributions, enlisting Grammy-winner Eric Krasno to help him craft the sound of an album that is at once melodic, Funky, organic and – most importantly – uplifting. While we are all facing a time of uncertainty, challenges and tribulation, Mihali uses these 11 songs to remind us of the strength and hope that is the essence of humanity, giving us the confidence we can battle whatever obstacles we encounter and will make it to the “other side” whole. WDST, KMTN, WFIV and KROK are a few of the stations sharing Mihali’s positive attitude with their audiences.