When Mia Dyson packed her guitars, her band and a portable recording studio into
her car and headed out to a friends' mud brick house in Daylesford Victoria,
she had no idea she was about to make one of the most talked about debut albums
of 2003. Cold Water was nominated for an ARIA award and jettisoned the then 22
year-old into a continuous touring schedule both here and overseas. Taking in
major festivals such as the East Coast Blues and Roots, Falls, Womadelaide, NXNE
in Canada and The Edinburgh Festival in Scotland, Mia was wholeheartedly embraced
by audiences and critics alike. In 2005 she has returned with her self-produced
sophomore album Parking Lots, cementing Mia's place as one of Australia's
most exhilarating songwriters.
Recorded by co-producer Lloyd Barratt and mixed by internationally acclaimed
producer Nick Launay (Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Silverchair) Parking Lots
delves into raw, impassioned territory. It launches from a rock solid ground
of roots influences, with wild songs of love, devotion, gratitude and dispossession.
There is a sense from the album's opener â€˜Roll Me Out' that one is in assured
hands, Mia Dyson has arrived.
Mia plays electric, lap steel, baritone, slide and acoustic guitar on Parking
Lots. The focus of the album, like her live shows, is as much about Mia's
dynamic guitar playing as her extraordinary voice. Hailing from the surfing
town of Torquay along Victoria's west coast, Mia grew up in a house passionate
about music. Her father Jim Dyson, a respected guitar maker and musician, played
Mia records by Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt and Little Feat whilst her mother Gail
introduced her to the likes of Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen. It was Mia though,
who sought out the work of Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch & Will Oldham.
Parking Lots was recorded at a holiday house in Victoria's Mt Martha
with Mia's band Lucas Taranto (bass) and Daniel Farrugia (drums). Stage
two saw the studio move back home to the bungalow in Mia's backyard, where
she was joined by special guests Matt Walker, Steve Hesketh (Jet/Dan Brodie)
Carl Panuzzo and Sime Nugent. Last but by no means least came diva Renee Geyer,
who added backing vocals during the album's mixing stage at Sing Sing,
Parking Lots is a stirring collection of inspired songs, delivered with
the kick and command of an artist who has found her voice and isn't afraid
to use it.