After bounding out of the traps with 2009’s Jewellery, Micachu & The Shapes have managed to tread a more interesting path than many of their peers. This is perhaps to be expected; principal member Mica Levi might be unique in having a background in grime and a classical training in composition. Since that debut, they’ve performed with the London Sinfonietta and Levi has been appointed the youngest ever Artist-In- Residence at London’s Southbank Centre.
Never sees her return to her day job, creating skittish, experimental pop music of the kind that may arise if the Bash Street Kids took out a subscription to The Wire. Less immediate than that debut, over time the likes of Low Dogg, Holiday and OK emerge as the equals of Jewellery’s skewed pop; the difference is the presence of a handful of more bittersweet moments, best represented by the outstanding Nothing. Reminiscent of the kind of melancholy, swirling fairground ballad that Damon Albarn occasionally pulls off, Micachu’s voice comes to the fore, it’s clipped, scruffy Englishness not too far removed from Robert Wyatt at his most conversational.