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Micachu and the Shapes perform for a Field Recordings video in Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C. (NPR)

Micachu & The Shapes: Weeds In The Forest

Sep 19, 2012

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Stephen Thompson

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Experimental musician Mica Levi, a.k.a. Micachu, doesn't exactly fit comfortably into her surroundings: She cuts a vaguely otherworldly, not-so-vaguely androgynous figure, and sings strangely pretty, jagged little songs with the aid of odd tunings and a tiny guitar, which dangles from crudely tied twine. She identifies herself as a pop singer, but while her songs are catchy enough, they're no one's idea of pop-radio fodder. Micachu is a sore thumb in human form, but there's nothing inauthentic or performative about her outsider status.

Taking Micachu on a hike into the sun-dappled woods of Washington, D.C.'s Rock Creek Park makes as much sense as it would to surround her with modern everyday life. So we sat her on a log in the open air, where she sang "Holiday" — from her new album Never — while flanked by Raisa Khan and Marc Pell from her band The Shapes. Together, the three musicians complement the majesty of their surroundings with everything that makes their music work: disarmingly plainspoken charm, ragged beauty, and uniqueness that blooms as naturally as the trees themselves.

Credits

Producer: Mito Habe-Evans; Second Videographer/Production Assistant: Nick Michael; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins.

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