No one can deny that the face of planet music is changing at a rate faster than ever before. Whether one believes that it’s awkwardly evolving into a beguiling new beast or imploding into a certain apocalypse, one thing’s for sure: this soundtrack will be like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Mica Levi, the 26 year old leader of Micachu and the Shapes, is the unassuming figure creating tunes that somehow perfectly define these sometimes scary, often overwhelming but always exciting times. She’s the most singular artist leading the future-pop frontier with an instinctual understanding of music only possible from one of those rare lives where rhythms, melodies, discord and noise have underpinned every last waking second.
It’s no surprise that director Jonathan Glazer enlisted the classically trained Mica Levi to provide the score to his upcoming film Under the Skin which is out in theatres on April 4. Starring Scarlett Johansson as a sinister figure preying upon hitchhikers in Scotland, the score itself is the perfect canvas for Glazer’s ominous cinematic brushstrokes. The score is a stunning compliment to the film while the moving images similarly allow for the ebb and flow of the score to be recognised.
Milan Records will be releasing Mica Levi’s original score to Under the Skin on April 1 2014. A glimpse into the film, as well as a preview of the striking score, is out now in a new trailer for the film. The film’s official site is here with Pitchfork providing full details on the album today.
Born in Guilford, the daughter of a record collector and a professional Cellist, Mica was playing a violin when she was barely old enough to hold one. Music was not just a hobby but rather the starting point for everything in the Levi household. Classically trained at the Purcell School on a scholarship from the Music and Ballet Scheme, she went on to win a scholarship to study composition at the Guildhall School of Music. During her time there she released her first mixtape Filthy Friends with producers and MC’s including Toddla T, Ghostpoet and Man Like Me.
At Guildhall she met ‘the Shapes’, Raisa Khan and Marc Pell, and largely on a laptop in Mica’s bedroom they made their critically acclaimed debut album Jewellery (Rough Trade, 2009). In addition to releasing NEVER (Rough Trade, 2012) the group have been extremely prolific. Using unorthodox, handmade instruments they collaborated with The London Sinfonietta – one of the world’s leading contemporary orchestras – to release the album Chopped & Screwed (Rough Trade, 2011), recorded live in front of an audience at King’s Place. Micachu and DJ/producer Kwes then released the second volume of their collaborative mixtape series Kwesachu which featured artists such as Ghostpoet, Speech Debelle and Dels (volume one was released in 2009 and featured The xx, Hot Chip and Metronomy). Micachu is an artist in residence at London’s Southbank Centre, the youngest individual musician to have ever been granted this unique role.