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July 14, 2024

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Nathan Michel
Dear Bicycle (Tigerbeat6)

By: Cam Lindsay

Fucking with pop music the Tigerbeat6 way, New Jersey-based solo artist Nathan Michel has perfected a way to make music sound idiosyncratic, fascinating and exasperating all at the same time. His second album, Dear Bicycle, cuts and pastes, mixes in loops and swerves its way around the confining genre of pop music. Using an unorthodox selection of instruments, ranging from computerized harpsichord, a standard Casio SK1, a penny whistle, faint traces of guitars, a kazoo, Chinese medicine balls (?) and of course, laptop computers, Michel is a master of his musical domain. Compellingly, he also uses samples of Thelonious Monk, Patsy Cline and Spike Jones (all in one song, too -- "Glide"), as well as stranger sounds like an actual symphony and connection noises from the Internet. Dear Bicycle is a whimsical example of pop music compatible with the likes of Momus, Fennesz, The Magnetic Fields and Manitoba. If any of those rock your boat, this will definitely sink it with delight.
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