When: Wed., Nov. 18, 8:30 p.m. 2015
Last year Micachu & the Shapes leader Mica Levi achieved a creative apogee in building the stark, harrowing soundtrack for the science-fiction film Under the Skin. Like her work with the Shapes, it’s minimally constructed, little more than discordant violin long tones, pregnant pauses, ominous electronic textures, and a numb, throbbing pulse. But over the last decade few have made deceptive simplicity hit so hard. She eventually reconnected with her band to make their first new album in three years, Good Sad Happy Bad (Rough Trade), which nearly feels like a reaction to the film score. The songs were developed—but not too developed—from loose, spontaneous jams surreptitiously recorded by the group’s drummer, Marc Pell. Few bands make surface boredom and ennui sound so enticing and catchy by draping simple guitar or keyboard patterns over primitive, loose-limbed grooves. Levi delivers her lines like she’s talking in her sleep, but that doesn’t prevent her soulfulness from ripping through a single like “Oh Baby.” And rather than revel in depression, most of the songs embrace life’s simpler things, such as the longing for sea air on, yes, “Sea Air,” or the rejection of urban chaos and pollution on “LA Poison.” Micachu & the Shapes play a set at Empty Bottle later tonight.