After multiple outings composing soundtracks and contemporary classical pieces, Micachu is back with her band The Shapes for Good Sad Happy Bad. A hefty jam between the three showed them the way, and the record consequently has a beautifully fresh and free sound. Quality energy music, release on Rough Trade.
7/10 Robin Staff review, 10 September 2015
Micachu’s music has sounded all kinds of under the weather lately, and I’ve enjoyed it all the more for it: last year’s tape ‘Feeling Romantic/Tropical/Ill’ lurched between songs too tired to be twee and ones more noisy than pop, and ‘Good Sad Happy Bad’, her newest record, seems to work off the almost barely-awake energies she and her band can muster. These songs sound both slick and completely off-kilter, like a genius wading through a sleepless week.
The melodies of tunes like “Sea Air” have been delicately crafted and then muffled by pillowy drums and gulping vocals. On the chorus, two disparate voices try to wrestle their way towards the hook, collapsing on each-other on their way. As the record goes on, tunes like “Crushed” integrate swathes of noise and psychedelic riffing, but continue to keep the band at arm’s length from the songs they’re performing. Think Ava Luna hungover and ‘Good Sad Happy Bad’ starts to make sense; it feels like it should be a noisy, chaotic affair, but no one’s up for it, so instead it becomes loftily, curiously listenable. A whistling keyboard melody pierces the lazy miasma of the record on “O Baby” and a noisy sample loops around “Waiting”, but these effects act more like cartoon birds swirling around a dazed character’s head than proper funtime tricks.
I suspect the reason I’ve been passed this for review is because of “Unity”, which sounds like the anti-Clint of songs: a pig-squeal overrides the song’s general, wobbly background of nothing, and while the juxtaposition is bold and abrupt for this record, it feels ham-fisted (lmaooooo!) within the record’s snoozy atmosphere. Overall, I like this record best when Micachu’s sort of forgotten about the music she made for you to hear.
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- Good Sad Happy Bad by Micachu & The Shapes
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