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

Tift Merritt Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage hide caption

toggle caption Brian Blauser/Mountain Stage

Mountain Stage

Tift Merritt On Mountain Stage

The alt-country singer-songwriter plays old and new material, both solo and with the house band.

Listen Loading… 25:52
  • Playlist
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/465460741/465461098" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Rodrigo Amarante performs live at Pickathon for OPB. Kristina Moravec/OPB hide caption

toggle caption Kristina Moravec/OPB

Favorite Sessions

Rodrigo Amarante, 'Maná' (Live)

opbmusic.org

The Brazilian singer performs an upbeat song on a stage made of branches at Pickathon in Oregon.

Palehound performs at NPR's 2015 CMJ Showcase, which took place at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City on Oct 14, 2015. Loren Wohl for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Loren Wohl for NPR

Front Row

Palehound, Live In Concert

Ellen Kempner's band marries rock muscle to bedroom folk's wiry vulnerability. Watch a full set.

DIIV performs live at the Pickathon Woods Stage for opbmusic. Christopher Sohler/Pickathon hide caption

toggle caption Christopher Sohler/Pickathon

Favorite Sessions

DIIV, 'Yr Not Far/Dopamine' (Live)

opbmusic.org

The Brooklyn guitar band segues from "Yr Not Far" into "Dopamine," a frank song about addiction.

JR JR performs live at Sonos Studio for KCRW. Erik Voake/KCRW hide caption

toggle caption Erik Voake/KCRW

Favorite Sessions

JR JR, 'Gone' (Live)

KCRW

Watch the band once known as Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. whistle through "Gone" at L.A.'s Sonos Studio.

Son Little performs a set at NPR's 2015 CMJ showcase, which took place at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York City on Oct. 14, 2015. Loren Wohl for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Loren Wohl for NPR

Front Row

Son Little, Live In Concert

The Philadelphia singer-guitarist's trio showed up at a New York club gig in a blues-rock mood.

Back To Top

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor