Field Recordings

Micachu & The Shapes: Weeds In The Forest

Experimental musician Mica Levi, a.k.a. Micachu, doesn't exactly fit comfortably into her surroundings: She cuts a vaguely otherworldly, not-so-vaguely androgynous figure, and sings strangely pretty, jagged little songs with the aid of odd tunings and a tiny guitar, which dangles from crudely tied twine. She identifies herself as a pop singer, but while her songs are catchy enough, they're no one's idea of pop-radio fodder. Micachu is a sore thumb in human form, but there's nothing inauthentic or performative about her outsider status.

Taking Micachu on a hike into the sun-dappled woods of Washington, D.C.'s Rock Creek Park makes as much sense as it would to surround her with modern everyday life. So we sat her on a log in the open air, where she sang "Holiday" — from her new album Never — while flanked by Raisa Khan and Marc Pell from her band The Shapes. Together, the three musicians complement the majesty of their surroundings with everything that makes their music work: disarmingly plainspoken charm, ragged beauty, and uniqueness that blooms as naturally as the trees themselves.

Credits

Producer: Mito Habe-Evans; Second Videographer/Production Assistant: Nick Michael; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Rock

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats perform live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. Dustin Downing/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Dustin Downing/KCRW

Favorite Sessions

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, 'S.O.B.'

KCRW

The band gives a rousing, soulful performance of "S.O.B." live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Blind Pilot performs live in the opbmusic studio. David Christensen/opbmusic hide caption

toggle caption David Christensen/opbmusic

Favorite Sessions

Blind Pilot, 'Joik #3' (Live)

opbmusic.org

The Oregon band plays a reflective, striking tribute to Israel Nebeker's father live for opbmusic.

Local Natives perform live for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic. Brian Lowe/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Brian Lowe/KCRW

Favorite Sessions

Local Natives, 'Villainy' (Live)

KCRW

The quintet performed a love letter to Los Angeles on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.

Julien Baker performs at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Adam Kissick for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Adam Kissick for NPR

Newport Folk Festival

Julien Baker, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

Baker's ragged-edged voice and ringing Telecaster were all it took to win over the Newport audience.

Julien Baker, Live In Concert

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/488354526/488544443" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

From left: Rebecca Lovell, Elvis Costello, Glen Hansard, Conor O'Brien and Megan Lovell at the 2016 Newport Folk Festival. Josh Wool for Newport Folk Festival hide caption

toggle caption Josh Wool for Newport Folk Festival

Newport Folk Festival

Elvis Costello, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2016

Hear Costello perform with several special guests, including Glen Hansard and Middle Brother.

Elvis Costello, Live At Newport Folk 2016

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/487843423/487843997" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top