TUESDAY: MICACHU & THE SHAPES
Micachu & The Shapes’ return, three years after the release of their last record Never, is almost an accident: the trio of friends decided to rehearse in an East London studio, and found themselves immersed into an hours-long jam. Drummer Marc Pell had an Edirol field recorder in hand, and unbeknownst to his bandmates, recorded the whole session; Pell, Mica Levi, and Raisa Khan were so enamoured of those off-the-cuff audio experiments that they became the underpinnings of a new record. In the years since the band’s last work together, Mica Levi has been the youngest person ever to be an Artist in Residence at The Southbank Centre and her star in the world of modern composition has also risen, largely as a result of her work on Jonathan Glazer’s standout 2014 film, Under the Skin, whose eerie depth is due in part to Levi’s precise, otherworldly score, for which she won a European Film Award and was nominated for a BAFTA.
Sounds like: Gang Gang Dance, Dirty Projectors, Dean Deacon
WEDNESDAY: PSEUDOUBT | SPENCER JOLES x NAZEEM
Pseudoubt exists in the grey area of modern music. Lead-vocalist Artifex morphs between cryptic raps and gentle, almost pop-laden singing to compliment the music, orchestrated by production maestro Adriatic with additions by guitarist Riley Iris, in a way that meshes together forming a distinct symmetry. Since forming in early 2013, the mission of Minneapolis-based Pseudoubt has remained to expand the confines of genres, while still producing a sound that is keen to the average "art-pop” listener. January 2014 saw the release of their debut album, Greyscale.
Sounds like: Venus On Fire, Love-Cars, Andy Elwell
Mitski warmly recalls a quote from sculptor El Anatsui, “Art grows out of each particular situation, and I believe that artists are better off working with whatever their environment throws up.” With this nerve exposed lyrically, and having dived into her new beginning, Mitski chooses her 2014 breakthrough album Bury Me at Makeout Creek to explore uncharted sonic territory, trading in large string arrangements for guitar and bass. While studying composition at SUNY Purchase’s music conservatory, she previously recorded music with a full orchestra. However as college graduation inched closer, Mitski moved away from the concert hall and into the campus’ active DIY scene. Upon relocating to New York following graduation, she entered stages at Death By Audio, Silent Barn, and Bed Stuy basements, entrenching her songs of love, fear, lust, and brilliant clarity into entirely sympathetic ears. Since releasing Bury Me at Makeout Creek, Mitski has received international acclaim for her distinct, arresting sound and profoundly reflective lyrics. Pitchfork applauded the release as “inventive and resourceful,” while Rolling Stone celebrated her “deep-cutting lyrics.” NME said of Bury Me, “it’s a record that doesn’t tug at your heart-strings as much as it mercilessly pounds at them, taking to your emotions like a lead pipe to a piñata.” She has also received widespread attention for her “cathartic” live shows as dubbed by The New York Times’ Jon Caramanica.
Sounds like: Girlpool, Adult Mom, Palehound
FRIDAY: CODY JINKS
Conceived in a honky tonk long, long ago, Cody now makes his living in them. Accompanied by the Tonedeaf Hippies, he rolls across the land and the oceans onto other lands to sow a collective musical seed. Not like the brazen giant of "Texas/Red Dirt" fame, he is a fair-sized man with a Zippo whose flame longs to be ignited by the sound of real music. "Keep that which is plastic, and the posers that compose for money. Give us your listeners, your dreamers, your huddled drunken masses longing to break free of the feces on our radios. Send these: the hippies and the cowboys, and we will flick our bics through those swinging doors."
Sounds like: Dustin Evans, Randy Rogers, Ben Atkins Band
Born and raised in the South Bay area of Los Angeles, TOKiMONSTA (Jennifer Lee) was an unfocused pupil of classical piano. However, she has come to use this background to understand and create vast soundscapes and textures through the usage of live instruments, percussion, digital manipulation, and dusty vinyl. Through the creation of beats, she is able to fuse the sounds of the past with her musical prowess into something avant garde. Lee is a Korean-American, "Toki" means "a rabbit" in Korean. Her debut album, Midnight Menu, was released in 2010. [Last.fm]
Sounds like: Shlohmo, Flying Lotus, Nosaj Thing
Baltimore-based guitar band Wildhoney have navigated through a grand canyon of pop music to create Your Face Sideways, a new 12" EP out on Topshelf Records on October 16, 2015. Traveling forward under a clear sky, Wildhoney pass under a series of constellations: first the Shangri-Las Nebula, then the rarely seen Cocteau Twins Hydra. Heard along the road through open windows, carols of Patsy Cline echo like siren songs. In Wildhoney's dark, lucid, and hook-heavy landscape, Zach Inscho plays drums, Joe Trainor and Marybeth Mareski play guitars, Alan Everhart plays bass, and Lauren Shusterich sings. [...] On their 2015 debut LP Sleep Through It (Deranged/Forward Records), Wildhoney proved themselves masters of creating a cohesive, yet diverse, full-length set of songs that left the listener wanting more. Critics noted the band's thoughtfulness and attention to dynamic. Sleep Through It was preceded by two EPs - a self-titled release (Nostalgium Directive) that showed off the band's heavy punk influences and first nervous forays into pop, and Seventeen Forever (Photobooth Records) on which the group advanced bravely forward, refining their sound and highlighting their catchy vocal melodies. Wildhoney choose to use songwriting and melody as primary vehicles on their pop excursions, a traditional approach they first proposed on Sleep Through It and wholly celebrate on Your Face Sideways.
Sounds like: Funeral Advantage, Infinity Girl, Never Young
Blog by Gina Reis