Mija – How To Measure The Distance Between Lovers EP

While dance music can sometimes appear to be stale, there are still artists out there pushing the envelope and giving us unique, fresh takes on the genre. Mija is one of them.

In fact, I am hesitant to even categorize Mija’s debut EP, How To Measure the Distance Between Lovers, as dance music. It’s more Burial than Benny Benassi. Certainly, Mija stays in the electronic realm, but Mija herself is definitely not concerned with putting a label on her music. She is the pioneer of her FK A GENRE movement, aimed at breaking down the barriers between dance music genres.

Listening to this EP evokes the feeling that Mija took her personal diary detailing various heartbreaks and translated it into an emotional, raw sonic landscape for us. The experimental, yet never overproduced, EP begins with the down-tempo and beautiful ‘Notice Me,’ featuring Mija’s own forlorn vocals. The track ends with a bang with the introduction of a wailing synth.

Next, Mija decided to take on a re-work of ‘Bad For U’ with Kelli Schaefer, turning the track into a more layered and complex tune.

I will say there seems to be a bit of whiplash in moving from Mija’s vocals to Schaeffer’s, then back to Mija’s on ‘5AM in Paris.’ Both voices are a tonal fit for the somber EP, yet there is a bit of a disconnect in switching between the two.

For the listener, ‘5AM in Paris’ and ‘Never Forget’ seem to act as interludes of sorts. The short tracks are perhaps the “dancier” tracks of the album, with more up-tempo backing beats. Yet whatever groove you may have gotten into quickly shifts into the domineering and whining synths of ‘Falling apART (again).’

‘Speak To Me’ features the sounds of panpipes and orchestral strings alongside Mija’s lyrics about a lover trying to get back into her good graces after not returning her same amount of affection at the forefront. The lyrics “speak to me in philosophies / and drown my heart in poetry / it won’t mean anything to me” invoke a bit of a try-hard attitude to sound deep, but there’s no mistaking that Mija really poured her soul into the lyrics and production of this EP.

The closing track, ‘The Last Song I Ever Wrote U’ ends the EP on a powerful and glitchy note. Even though the entire EP is a grim take on electronic music, Mija balances that out with some lighter fluttering sounds so that the entire EP isn’t just a sonic scape of gloom and doom.

The buzz for Mija has been ever-growing since she blew up in the scene with early support from Skrillex. She’s proven to be a masterclass on the decks, but she had yet to prove whether or not her songwriting and production skills were up to the same chops. Her past work is, in my opinion, somewhat forgettable – her most notable track being ‘Better’ with Vindata, which evokes future bass genericness. We were all eager to see how she would truly introduce us to her own sound with this EP, and we were not disappointed.

How To Measure The Distance Between Lovers is a clear diversion from her past work, showcasing Mija’s talent for songwriting first and foremost; something we are eager to see other producers tackle. Whether you like her new direction or not, you can’t deny she is bringing something different to the table.

Stream the EP in its entirety below!

Mija – How To Measure The Distance Between Lovers EP