Micachu & The Shapes – Jewellery (Rough Trade)
Micachu & The Shapes’ Jewllery isn’t just one of the decade’s most exciting albums full-stop, but somehow within its 13 short tunes also seems to write a taut and tight summation of the 10 years that came before it.
And talk about a surprising source: 21-year-old Londoner Mica Levi went from classical composition training at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music (even premiering a piece with the London Symphony Orchestra in 2008), to compiling the UK scene’s most sought-after home-made mixtape Filthy Friends (search for it on the internet – your ears will thank you). Given the one-two opening punch of ‘Vulture’ (spastic, scattered, tuneful) and ‘Lips’ (bhangra-flavoured indie rock? Huh?), one would expect at least some small loss of inertia over the album’s remaining tracks. You’d be mistaken – Micachu wins, song after song, be it the angry fuzz of ‘Curly Teeth’ or the dusty, downbeat revenge fantasy ‘Floor’.
Backed by the production skills of Matthew Herbert – one of the 2000s most exciting musical chameleons in his own right – Jewellery’s the type of fully-realized left-field shock attack that comes along maybe once a decade.