Described best in an interview with Liverpool-based culture blog Planet Slop: “Micayl’s style makes up an evocative blend of laid back lo- fi, jazz and soulful hip-hop and this cocktail serves to solidify him as an artist with a distinct sound.”
Indigo is Micayl’s third single, (released on 29th November 2019) and forms the first of a 6 part collaborative concept EP due to be released in early 2020. I was enthusiastic to review the Toni Draper-mastered piece after reviewing ‘Versailles’ last summer. Also produced by Micayl, the incredible ‘Versailles’ proved to be an amuse-bouche for the luxury that is ‘Indigo’.
Spanish native HENRIO comprises the adjoining fragment of this multilingual collaboration – a singer-songwriter, producer and composer from Barcelona (UK-based since 2017). Inspired by greats such as Damien Rice, Sufjan Stevens and RY X, HENRIO creates folk-woven masterpieces. A busy-bee, HENRIO, amongst making chill bops with other Liverpool-based artists, is studying a degree in music (focusing on song-writing and production) as well as preparing for the highly-anticipated release of his first EP.
The single’s cover-art is congruous with HENRIO’s folk-y earthy vibe (think – Mumford and Sons aesthetic. I’m stroking my non-existent beard), and continues on thematically from Micayl’s previous single ‘Versailles’. This repeated tonal, nature-based feel in the cover art depicts a wave, certainly allegoric of the feeling of the track. Despite being written in Micayl and HENRIO’s bedrooms, the track transports listeners elsewhere with its dreamy faraway feel, with not an unholy Scouse accent in sight.
‘Indigo’ presents itself to be faraway, but still accessible for a review. Upon first listen, ‘Indigo’ immediately establishes itself as a toe-tapper, or perhaps eventually a toe-breaker. The introduction of striding percussion and lilting vocals is very Harry-Styles’-first-album-esque – chill and emotional. Addition of remote piano and resounding guitar adds its penultimate layer of sea-scape holiday mood, similar to ‘Versailles’. Finally, the track is completed by layered vocals and duality of languages through HENRIO’s addition of Española. Now, the only Spanish I know is ‘hola’, ‘si’ and ‘una tequila por favor’ and I’m not likely to be learning anymore due to the lack of enunciation in the track, but frankly, I don’t really care because of the vacation vibes I’m absorbing; I’m mentally floating on a lilo and sipping a vegan cocktail.
As far as I can tell from the shoe-gaze style lyrics, the message of the song implied is sensitive – ‘there’s a part of me that wants to stay the same’… ‘chasing after waves, trying to find my place’ – a story of loss and change amongst life that is as transient as the tide. For Micayl and HENRIO upon looking inwards, self-discovery is freeing. This liberation is reflected in the way Micayl once again defies genre conventions with the varied, mellow assortment present in ‘Indigo’.
Micayl’s music is a holiday soundtrack with a deeper message, aided by vessel, HENRIO. But, since I’m currently too broke for a cheeky trip to the tropics – the 277 to Dalston Junction home from work will more than suffice.