At first, Gia Margaret called her new album Romantic Piano to be a bit cheeky. Its spare, gentle piano works share more spirit with Erik Satie, Emahoy Tsegué–Maryam Guébrou and the ‘Marginaliaʼ releases of Masakatsu Takagi than they do with, say, a cozy and candlelit date night. But in that cheekiness lies hidden intention: across the gorgeous set “Romantic” is suggested in a more classic sense, what the Germans call waldeinsamkeit. Its compositions conjure the sublime themes of the Romantic poets: solitude in nature; natureʼs ability to heal and to teach; a sense of contented melancholy. “I wanted to make music that was useful,” says Margaret, vastly understating the power of the record.
Romantic Piano, released in May 2023 by Jagjaguwar is curious, calming, patient and incredibly moving — but it doesnʼt overstay its welcome for more than a second. Margaretʼs debut, ‘Thereʼs Always Glimmer,ʼ was a lyrical wonder, but when an illness on tour left her unable to sing, she made her ambient album ‘Mia Gargaretʼ (another cheeky title!) which revealed a keen intuition for arrangement and composition not fully shown on ‘Thereʼs Always Glimmerʼs lyrical songs. ‘Romantic Pianoʼ, too, is almost totally without words. “Writing instrumental music, in general, is a much more joyful process than I find in lyrical songwriting,” she says. “The process ultimately effects my songwriting.” And while Margaret has more songwriterly material on the way, ‘Romantic Pianoʼ solidifies her as a compositional force.
‘Gia Margaret arrives at a time when the meditative powers of anything, be it music or simply a walk around the block, are felt more keenly than ever.’ – Fader
‘a mesmerising proposition…. the whole thing is a moving song cycle that’s as one in harmony, mood and feel. Like her debut, complete.” – Secret Meeting 8.5/10
‘At a time of uncharted fear and oppression that finds the world holding its breath as to what happens next, Mia Gargaret sounds like a vital exhalation” – Line of Best Fit 8/10
‘an album of gorgeously sleepy ambient music, from the fragmentary wonder of the No Sleep To Dream to the self-soothing Sadballad. Bliss!’ – The Sunday Times
‘There is a tactility within this album that feels like a memory. Not here or there, but surrounding.’- Clash 8/10