Touring with Animal Collective, Micachu & The Shapes Should Open Plenty of Ears

August 13, 2012

News Tours Etc, Video

Opening up for Animal Collective for their Fall 2012 tour, Micachu & The Shapes have every reason to be there. “Micachu is largely inspired by Harry Partch who famously used an array of customised and home made instruments. These included a xylophone made of light bulbs, a ‘Cloud Chamber’ made out of pyrex dishes that could not only be played musically but detect particles of ionizing radiation and a series of highly complicated 44 stringed instruments” (Rough Trade).

With their newest LP, Never, out now via Rough Trade, Micachu reminds me first and foremost of the Baltimore’s tUnE-yArDs, for their immense deliberation of noise and crafty skills in accompaniment, and then a slew of garage bands that’ve circulated throughout the years. It’s easy, one may assume, to put a finger on every track the three-some make. Take “Holiday” for example: a 1-2-3-2 synth riff flies around between Mica Levy (aka Micachu) and her gorgeous, highly distinct voice while a snare drum tuned too-sharp (not complaining) shimmers and shakes somewhere between keen and sensationalism. 

Self-produced, Never is a free-ranging blast of sound and home recordings that blend improvisation with heart-wrenching songwriting and instrumentation.

Most songs barely reachthree minutes, the longest “Nothing” – the thirteenth of fourteen tracks – at 4:56 is one of the loveliest I’ve heard all summer.

Debuting on July 17th on YouTube, each track of Never was released with a music video, which is really fun: quirky, somewhat rudimentary, videos shot cheaply with no intention of creating genius. Which is exactly why the album seems so appealing: at a time when lushness and overproduction for tracks – marketed and scanned through the dilapidated lasers of Facebook, Soundcloud, Spotify, et cetera – seems destined to be accompanied with a music video that feels more cinematic and trite than the newest trailer for another incredulous based-off-the-comic-book-super-hero-mega-movie, Micachu & The Shapes merely make hopeful, almost anti-art videos for each track (and ironically, too, if one were to really go into it).

Below is the video for “OK,” the first single off Never, and below that are the tour dates they’ll open up for Animal Collective.

WATCH: Micachu & The Shapes — “OK” (via YouTube)

Micachu And The Shapes – Tour Dates With Animal Collective
9/18 Seattle, WA – Paramount
9/19 Vancouver, BC – Malkin Bowl
9/20 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom
9/21 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
9/22 Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
9/27 Dallas, TX – House of Blues
9/28 Austin, TX – Backyard
9/29 New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
9/30 Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
10/2 Columbia, MD – Merriweather Post Pavilion
10/3 Philadelphia, PA – Mann Center
10/5 Brooklyn NY – Williamsburg Park

-Aaron Geer

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