Mainstream music has always had to struggle with the black cloud of commercialism that hands over some of its most lucrative artists, but even when the darkness becomes so powerful that there seems like there isn’t a shred of originality left in our world, there’s always a light to break through the clouds emanating from the depths of the indie underground. No one is shining the light brighter than Mikey See is right now, and in an overcast market of sound-alikes and wannabe gangsters, his new single “Love My Body” sits atop the creative shoulders of giants from an era all but forgotten.
“Love My Body” is a very danceable single, but Mikey See also packed the song full of plenty of intellectually stimulating fodder for music enthusiasts to pick over to their heart’s content. There are countless layers of spellbinding rhythm crashing into a black and white beat that crushes any notion of boredom, and while See himself produces a jarring vocal that cuts through the melody like a hot knife through butter, this song is anything but inaccessible to the casual pop fan. In fact, this might just be the single to bring a little bit of wit and street smarts back to the charts.
Mikey See strikes me as an artist who could play almost any genre of music well, whether it be the glossy urban beat that he lays down in “Love My Body” or even something more ambitiously experimental and formless. His singing style isn’t pinned down to one specific kind of music, and his reverent lyricism is intimate enough that it only needs a modest canvas to fill with more color than you’ll find in a rainbow. Mikey See doesn’t act like he wants us to relegate him to the same category as other pop musicians – his material is just too sprawling and ambitious.
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One of the most provocative takeaways from “Love My Body” that I personally felt was the fact that of all the songs See has released this year, this one is the boldest in its audiological spread. It comes at us full force like a tornado spit out of the heavens, and quaintly hints at See’s desire to make even more expansive music in the future. I myself would love to see him front a larger group of musicians just to see the way he would direct their instrumentation and manipulate their sound into his own. His inventiveness is his best quality and will be the key to his inevitable ascent to the top.
Experimentalism is going to be the name of the game in the next decade, and in “Love My Body” Mikey See declares that he isn’t just unafraid of trying new ideas that have never been played with before; he straight up intends on building his career around them. His willingness to go into the unknown with nothing to guide him but creative intuition is daring and very risky for an artist just starting out, but with such awesome results so far, I’m not going to be the one to tell him he should slow down anytime soon.
-review by Jodi Marxbury