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MP3 Julie Chow - The Many Faces Of Mimi Celeste LaFleur

A fairy tale-like musical journey filled with lush harmonies, warm chimes, simple acoustic and confessional lyrics

12 MP3 Songs in this album (48:55) !
Related styles: POP: Quirky, FOLK: Folk-Rock

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On her fifth solo album, Julie Chow takes on the persona of Mimi Celeste LaFleur and creates a 49-minute journey through emotion and harmony with acoustic guitar, piano, and layered vocals.

This is an album that represents the past four years of Julie''s life. While she is no stranger to music or independent recording, Julie''s focus was to write an album telling a story about a person acknowledging the various different personas within herself.

It was an inevitable topic -- Julie being a typical mid-twenty-something trying to figure out her direction in life. Being also a kind of "creative splat" with experience in graphic design and film making -- besides music -- writing an album about multiple identities became more than inevitable. it became necessary.

With Julie''s previous albums, the writing and recording process often occurred very quickly. This time, rather than to push herself, Julie decided to take the time to really focus on her craft. She wrote a couple of songs, played some of them live, then started layering vocals and keyboard melodies. It took a while before the true "texture" of the album began to reveal itself -- perhaps longer than it normally would. But by the end of 2007, Julie knew she was ready to finish the album.

"The entire writing process gave me a lot of insight," she says. "I started by writing a couple of songs that were pretty different than the ones I''d written before. I really wanted to push myself as a songwriter and try to write songs that broke out of my ''habits.'' And the funny thing is, while a lot of the tracks felt awkward at first, having the time to play them and live with them for the past couple of years really allowed me to figure out just what they were trying to convey. I couldn''t just haphazardly record them and have them sound perfect. The songs needed to age and be okay with themselves. And I had to find the right ''sound'' for each one. It''s a very layered album."

Recorded in Singapore and San Francisco, the result is a musical experience that is melancholic and nostalgic, with elements similar to Yann Tiersen''s soundtrack to the film Amélie, and other flavorings in rock and pop. At the same time, the album sounds different than anything that would be on Top 40 Billboard charts -- from the ethereal, watery feeling of "Stick Around", to the Middle-Eastern sounding "Are You Just A Little Mad" and the bossa-nova feeling of "Nothing I Can Count On." For the opera-meets-pop-ish "Rumpelstiltskin (Can You Say My Name?)", artists I Hate This Place (Sean Nerney), Dave D''aranjo and Roman Tarassov also make an appearance.

The album''s eclectic vibe is something Julie embraces, given the album''s schizophrenic theme. But why then "Mimi" and not "The Many Faces of Julie Chow" instead?

"The title of the album was always going to be ''The Many Faces of Mimi Celeste LaFleur''," Julie explains. "But I guess the reason why I was writing it was because I''m always asking myself, ''Who are you? Who do you want or need to be?'' And calling it ''Mimi'' worked because I was writing an album completely about myself, but not at the same time. I was allowed to be this completely self-indulgent, melodramatic and strange creature that warbles and sings about not knowing anything, openly. The concept of Mimi as a character is a play on ''me'' anyway, on my own self-consciousness. I wanted to express the melodrama and the whimsical nature of the album, of the whole experience."

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