Melbourne musician Mijo Biscan is a songwriter willing to go the extra mile for his craft. Eager to push the concept of solitude as a pathway to inspiration, Mijo travelled to Iceland where he stayed alone in a remote weatherboard cabin, surrounded by mountains and a breathtaking fjord. "It was dead quiet. Shockingly quiet", he says. "In the midst of the silence, the only thing I could hear were my innermost thoughts waiting to manifest into new songs." Mijo's month-long songwriting retreat formed the genesis for a creative shift. It was the crucial starting point for his latest record Golden Moment.
A prolific songwriter, creative mindset coach, vegan of 18 years, sunny optimist usually seen sporting a bright yellow t-shirt, Mijo is determined to find the golden thread running through the mess of life. Golden Moment is Mijo's debut solo album.
Already an established and respected artist for over a decade, Mijo has enjoyed a rewarding career as the co-creator of the critically acclaimed band Lamplight and as a solo artist. Beat Magazine praised his work as "Moody, heartbreaking, stunning, fucking epic". As a solo artist, Mijo toured 13 countries of Europe and featured as a support act to Goyte, Missy Higgins, Clare Bowditch and Tommy Emmanuel, both in Australia and abroad.
Golden Moment is a full and symphonic collection of contrasting sounds: sometimes melodic and melancholic, theatrical and bombastic, or dynamic and intense. Soulful moments when Mijo's tender lyrics are draped delicately across strings contrast with joyous upswellings of guitar over which his bold voice soars. He says, "The album takes you into some darker territory and I explore challenging ideas but I'm a real optimist at heart. I'm really a fun guy, but even fun guys have feelings."
The album was created during a turbulent time. Mijo was re-establishing himself in Australia after working in Berlin for four years. "I threw myself into creating this album. I found a room in a house by the Yarra and pretty much locked myself inside for six months." What followed was "one of the most intense creative periods in my life. I was making music, painting, writing… pushing myself and feeling energised by all that creative energy".
This optimism is tied closely to Mijo's manifesto. "I place a lot of attention on self-actualisation", he says, "and everything I do is tied to the idea of reaching my full potential. I believe it's possible for everyone to live in alignment with their strengths, and that concept runs through each of the songs." This idea dominates the album's title track, which Mijo says is about experiencing the depth of the present moment instead of being trapped in the past or future. For Mijo, life is about extracting the gold in every moment.
Mijo wrote and pre-produced the songs for Golden Moment in Gotye's barn studio near Melbourne, before recording the album in Newmarket Studios with Callum Barter (Courtney Barnett/Kurt Vile/Foy Vance/). He says, "It was important for me to deliver an intimate, warm, rich sound. We recorded the album to tape and the musicians summoned every fibre of their being for each performance." The album is co-produced with Marty Brown (Art of Fighting/Clare Bowditch) and will be released in the second half of 2019.
With this swag of songs, it's no wonder that Mijo's own future looks so golden.