Micachu Makes Jewellery That Spans Genres… almost
If there were ever a debut album that could have changed the face of both contemporary and mainstream music in synchrony, it’s Jewellery, the debut album from Micachu & The Shapes, the vehicle for classically trained musician Mica Levi. Produced by the artist herself alongside critically acclaimed electronic musician Matthew Herbert, it was widely believed before its release that Jewellery would do wonderful things. Unfortunately, it didn’t.
The album utilizes a range of obscure sounds and primitive instruments to create a chaotic soundscape, which can appear at times non-directional and poorly produced. The best track on the album is also the most conventional. “Golden Phone” uses a generic pop structure, but consists of ill-placed swells and smashing bottles. It shows a level of promise that most of the album generally lacks. However, it appears, as with most songs on the album, that it is still only a concept that hasn’t been properly explored.
The rest of the tracks are smothered with novel oddities and badly placed noise. Once these are removed, there remains nothing more than a mainstream artist and songs that are reminiscent of chart toppers. It appears contrived, as if in order to sound edgy Mica has purposefully gone out of her way to make her use of odd instruments obvious while still grasping firmly to a mainstream branch, not happy to fully commit.
Jewellery is by no means a brilliant album, but in parts it shows great potential from the Surrey, England-born composer. Micachu seems to be sitting on the fence between conventional indie and the more obscure experimental genres, which is problematic for an artist within contemporary music. Could she be the bridge on which experimental music gets more mainstream interest? Or will she become more conformist as her career progresses? Only time, and media coverage, can tell.