Reviews

‘Oh Me Oh Life’ by Micayl is designed as a continuous piece of concept art

Micayl - oh me oh life

Micayl’s brand-spanking new EP ‘Oh Me Oh Life’ is out now. Released on the 20th March and featuring 6 artists from across six different countries and genres, the project is designed as a continuous piece of concept art. When dissected, each fragment is an individual take on the first verse of Walt Whitman’s poem ‘Oh Me Oh Life’. When compiled, the overarching metaphor of a chameleon appears. Each song is named after a specific shade of colour and, much like a chameleon, shows one possible version of character, whilst inherently remaining the same animal.

I decided the complexity of this project deserves a track-by-track review. Check it out below.

Track 1 – A Chameleon’s Life:

Soothing, soothing soothing. An introduction with a surge of old Hollywood voices paves the way for a synthy stew of discordant melodies and harmonies sounding straight out of the 22nd century. This track reminds me a lot of the shoe-gazey mesh of sound that artists like The 1975 utilise for tracks such as ‘how to draw / petrichor’. My ears were happy, pricking up as I noticed lines of Walt Whitman’s poem were rewritten to produce a similar meaning, modified by sound.  

Track 2 – Cantaloupe ft. happysadmedium:

Cantaloupe’s brooding introduction uses a vocoder that makes everything sound a bit Post-Malone, but in a truly original way. Austrian native Happysadmedium’s effect is calming. I could’ve sworn that I was listening to the polished production of Cashmere Cat. This interpretation of the first verse is sunny – “let’s find the pieces that make us whole”, with beautiful vocals inspiring feeling deep down. Micayl tells me this interesting record production was achieved by speeding up the vocal file to make it twice as fast, and twice as stimulating.

Track 3 – Ivory ft. mrmarmite:

Ivory is a head-bobber, significantly more stripped back than the other tracks but again, featuring flawless production. Perhaps more congruous with Micayl’s previous tracks, the interesting inclusion of percussion as the track develops, adds layers that bloom in mid and bass. ‘Ivory’ is tied off with falsetto and some un-filtered guitar.

Track 4 – Indigo ft. Henrio:

‘Indigo’ is Micayl’s third single, a multi-lingual intermediary that I was happy to review back in December. ‘Indigo’ is a faraway dream, interspersing Henrio’s lilting Spanish with rhythmic guitar and a nice amount of reverb. “Like forever and a day” is perhaps the song’s refrain, where liberation is granted by the soundscape painted. I could listen to this track for like forever and a day.

Track 5 – Crimson ft. Aldous Solano:

An adequate amount of wah-wah never goes amiss among a rhythmic track like this. ‘Crimson’ details the infectious feeling of a night out, Micayl and Solano crooning ‘I don’t want to go home tonight, there’s a place for you and I’. Interesting tempo changes show Micayl is anything but boring. If I ever learn to drive, this will be the first song I stick on in the car to drive to.

Track 6: Cerulean ft. Sara Wolff:

‘What happened here? / My eyes crave the light’ – if Imogen Heap and Bon Iver had a sonic love-child, it would be Sara Wolff. ‘Cerulean’ is a shade of bright blue for those that don’t tend to explore past the realm of ROYGBIV. Cerulean refers to the eyes that the track describes, melancholy and soothing. This track works towards a feeling using vulnerable lyrics and ringing piano.

Track 7 – Unravel:

‘Oh Me Oh Life’s outro is soft and subduing. Recorded samples again precede incredible vocals that produce an acoustic environment of reverb. Repetition of “I unravel” at first feels like a demise, but considering the context of the project, unravelling is perhaps more indicative of a freeing sensation, rather than a negative undoing. By the song’s peak, the instrumentation is stripped away to reveal a voice lamenting “Oh me, oh life, oh me, oh life” as the project comes full circle, and Micayl’s vision is realised.

Micayl
Micayl

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Click here to check my interview with Micayl.

Gem Stokes
the authorGem Stokes
19 year old vegan studying English lit at Queen Mary University London. Aspiring music journalist and/or foreign news correspondent. I'm usually best found at a gig or with my heart in a book

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