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Micachu – Jewellery (2009)

April 15, 2009


All the blog buzz. And SXSW buzz. And buzz from friends as well. A lot of unexpected people i know have shown their enthusiasm for this quirky little record, and it just screams odd to me. But it’s a good type of odd. Mica Levi and her band The Shapes provide tunes that a so very out of the ordinary they raise questions with every minute of the 35 that goes by when listening to this. What was that sound? Was that a chorus? Is she nuts?

This album is very fun, lively and vibrant. Structure was all but thrown out of the window as i felt that many of the short songs just punched you in the face and wondering what the heck happened. “Golden Phone” is probably the most infectious tune I found on the album. Crunchy drums and echoing vocal samples permeate that song and is sure to get stuck in your head like nothing else.

One thing I found also very interesting when listening to this album was the use of out-of-the-ordinary instruments. A vacuum cleaner adds some odd timbre on “Turn Me Well” and I’m sure I heard a zipper on the album somewhere. All this unusual instrumentation isn’t so unusual when you realise the person who produced this album – Matthew Herbert – conducts electronic tracks by getting huge crowds to bite into an apple at the same time and recording it to tape. “Calculator” is something which could have been born out of sessions playing “Tequila”, but once you get through the 10 second intro, who get swirled into a whole heap of time chord changes that splatter all over the joint.

Jewellery is difficult to categorize or describe, which is it’s strength in a way. It’s refreshing to hear composition undertaken in such a unique and peculiar way that doesn’t sound like a sedated Philip Glass. If I had to undertake that cliched idea of labeling the album though – I would say that it is a type of pop music that doesn’t lend itself to pop very much, because people who would be into pop more often than not would listen to this and think you’re on crack for recommending it to them.

Micachu website myspace
Micachu – “Lips” from Jewellery

Just a final note: I interviewed Micachu last week and I’ll transcribe the chat sometime over the weekend for you to read! Keep a look out.

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