What the Kitty Dragged In: Artist Spotlight: Micachu (and the Shapes)!

Raisa Khan, Micachu, and Marc Pell, courtesy of Pitchfork.
Before I talk about Micachu, I need to talk about my favorite second family. Picture for a moment that you're sitting in a house in California, one-story, a little bit disheveled, with the smells of essential oils and freshly cooked food wafting from the kitchen. The couch you're sitting on is bulging and uncomfortable, but before you have time to be bothered, a mischievous teenage girl approaches you with outstretched arms and a wide, brace-faced grin, with a flurry of small dogs that were gathered around her feet like a cloud of fog. A pair of smiling twin siblings, a brother and a sister, float out of the kitchen with plates of gluten free food and a large speaker, and sit on either side of you. All three siblings gathered around you, you ask what we'll be listening to today.

"Only Micachu. All day."

I'm writing about Micachu today because she was the background track to my summer. Mica Levi is a songwriter, composer, producer, and singer, and her instrumental repertoire include guitar and vacuum.

Micachu, courtesy Resident Advisor.
Micachu and the Shapes is a collaboration fronted by Micachu, and specializes in experimental music. The best song to start with, in my opinion, is "Calculator." This was the song that I would blast driving along PCH with my best girl friends. The song is an upbeat jam with a catchy chorus, but still holds true to the experimental genre through absurd music breaks with spastic counting. Two other undeniably catchy songs are "Curly Teeth" and my favorite, "Low Dogg."

The cool album art of Jewellery, courtesy of Last Fm.
Jewellery is a favorite album by Micachu and the Shapes, with almost every song sounding unique. Some of the best include "Ship," "Golden Phone," "Eat Your Heart," "Just in Case," "Floor," and many more.

Though they're all cohesive being on the same album, each song takes you on a small journey. While "Ship" may make you feel like you're in a tight, dark room, with its pot-and-pan percussion and cloudy voice samples, "Floor" might make you feel like you're sitting on the bed of your childhood room, surrounded by memories of someone you loved. 
If Micachu and the shapes is sounding a little too pop or a tad bit weird, then you might like Micachu's DJ work: Filthy. Friends. 

I can say with complete confidence that this is my favorite music that I've personally discovered all year. I'm not sure what it is, the trance-like beats, the grungy English rappers, the uncomfortable atmosphere. Every transition leads to another colorful and unique beat, keeping you in a hypnotic state. Some of the samples include a very scholarly lecture on the music scene in England, backwards vocals, sitar, and many sounds that I can't really describe. Although seemingly random, Micachu's DJing work truly shines with how she layers the sounds together cohesively. Its obvious that every sound was placed deliberately, and that nothing was just random nonsense. Great for parties (half of it at least)!

Micachu and the Shapes recently released their new album Good Sad Happy Bad earlier this month! It definitely has a unique feel compared to the other Micachu projects on this list, and is definitely worth a listen!