Monday, 16 March 2009

Micachu & The Shapes - Jewellery

Written for The Line Of Best Fit

MP3: Curly Teeth

Mica Levi is the kind of burgeoning pop star that inspires a particularly devoted kind of fandom in her admirers. Her diminutive frame is draped in her trademark yellow and white hand made tee. Her face scrunches up endearingly as she mumbles out the words to her songs, her lip curled back and her eyes tight shut, rocking back and forth with her miniature guitar at chest height. She's part East London DIY street kid, part Waitsian musical innovator, part preternaturally wise ingenue; she's an endearing and intriguing presence, and all of her character seeps and shines out through the songs on this amazing debut album.

The sound of Jewellery is an elusive, nomadic lean-to of influences and styles. Discordant twanged strings mix with loops and beeps, jittery rhythms and squeaking, squalling keyboard, all feeding into the short, sparse melodies. It's a weird amalgam of urban DIY melodies with dancehall rhythms, neurotic autobiography and outbursts of punky racket screwed and glued on for good measure. Percussive detritus clatters and tinkles throughout, from cowbell to wood block to drum machine and the chopped up hum of a hoover mechanism. The experimentation isn't for the sake of it, but for the sound of it - the palette of sounds is economical and controlled, rather than throwing the kitchen sink into it for no reason. There's a distinctive sense of a keen musical intelligence at work behind this record.

Micachu's inventiveness and gift for turning out a catchy turn of phrase and a catchier tune has seen her quickly become a darling of the underground, but there's no reason for her success to stop there. As a classically trained musician with a seemingly endless imagination and Rough Trade behind her, Michachu is one "hotly tipped" new artist that will hopefully be sticking around for a good long while.

1 comment:

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