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CD Review: Micachu & the Shapes 

Jewellry (Rough Trade)

Micachu & the Shapes are the sort of band music bloggers dream about. The trio's attributes serve as perfect fuel for the hype machine. There's a frontwoman with an idiosyncratic vocal approach, homemade instruments, a wardrobe that looks like it was swiped from a '90s Lollapalooza dressing room and a famed producer (electro mastermind Matthew Herbert) behind the boards. In this case, the hype might be justified, because what saves Micachu & the Shapes from falling into the "weird for weird's sake" category is the fact that songwriter Micachu (Mica Levi) considers her band to be a pop act. This is not the type of "pop" you are going to hear on the radio anytime soon, but among the lo-fi blips, fuzz, extracurricular percussion and bizarre string tones, you'll find tightly-crafted tunes with an alien sense of melody. It also helps that the songs don't tend to cross the three-minute mark, meaning that if things start to feel a bit abrasive, you're already onto a new and intriguing idea. It's a truly fresh and hype-worthy sound. Whelihan

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