She's got all the credentials needed to be deemed 'cool', so it's no wonder that Mica Levi is the darling of the underground indie scene at the moment. For starters, the 21-year-old Londoner's debut album was produced by electronica maestro Matthew Herbert. Secondly, she plays the vacuum cleaner. Yes, she plays the vacuum cleaner. Most tellingly, however, she's creator of one of the most genuinely wacky and non-stylised albums of 2009 so far.
'Jewellery' won't be to everyone's taste, but even if you're not a fan of Micachu and the two musicians she's backed by (aka The Shapes), you can't deny her ambition. Her background is as diverse as this album implies - one-time classical composer, sometime garage MC - although neither genre is dominant on this record.
Instead, there are flirtations with electro, pop, grime and woozy, nightmarish melodies - but it's hard to pinpoint one particular sound, or even single out what instrument is being used. A variety of unconventional items are used to make noise - most notably the aforementioned vacuum cleaner on 'Turn Me Well' , while what sound like gusts of wind ('Vulture') laser zaps ('Curly Teeth'), discordant guitar riffs and off-kilter drumming patterns are also the order of the day.
There's a hell of a lot of clatter and bluster, but the exciting thing about Micachu is that she appears to be interested in actually experimenting with melodies, beats and song structures, instead of just posturing and striving to look cool. As she constantly throws fistfuls of ideas at a wall to see what sticks, she creates songs that are undeniably out-there, but also undeniably intriguing.