Mirel Wagner was born in Ethiopia, and grew up in Espoo, Finland. At age 7, she was given violin lessons, at 13, she switched to guitar and, at 16, she wrote her first songs. After a while, she dared to join open mic events in Helsinki, where Jean Ramsay, an American music journalist living in Finland, came across her at one of these sessions. He was particularly convinced of her talent, raved about her in an early article and recommended her to others. So, without producing a demo or contacting record labels, she found herself sitting in a real recording studio. Over two days, she recorded 12 songs straight. Nine of them can be found on her debut, which was first released in Finland in spring 2011. Her second album, When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day, according to Wagner, is “more of the same.” And lo and behold, it is: a better-recorded, better-written, better-sung, deeper version of the first.