With the increasing ease and accessibility of making music independently has also come the rise of the modern-day music collective, from Odd Future to BROCKHAMPTON. However, the success of collectives is not only limited to rap music. And MICHELLE is an impressive testament to that fact.
A collective of six artists from New York, MICHELLE challenges not only the traditional collective but also the conventional definitions of genre, forming their own sound through a blend of R&B, indie pop, and jazz. The presence of different genres makes sense, considering the group contains six unique minds; however, when they come together, the sound of MICHELLE is clear. The title of their 2018 debut album, HEATWAVE, which was fully produced in one of the member's bedrooms, fits their warm, nostalgic vibe.
MICHELLE not only has an audible warmth but a lyrical one, with multiple references to the sun and to detailed elements of summertime. Similarly, nostalgia is displayed not only sonically but also in other reappearing lyrical themes of childhood simplicity, both old and new love, and getting off your phone (the sentiment also doubles as the title of the first track on the album).
Beyond the lingering warmth of summer, New York itself further builds the sonic and thematic playground for the spirited collective, from being on the Q train to strolling along 7th avenue. Whether you've spent time in the energetic New York City streets or dreamed of it, MICHELLE will be sure to have your mind romanticizing about wandering through the bustling city on a warm summer day.
The wide array of genres in HEATWAVE displays the collective's stylistic range, from "THE BOTTOM," a more indie-pop tune to "MANGO," driven by a reggaeton backbeat and jazzy vocal melody. Then there's "STUCK ON U," which exhibits a tasteful fusion of bubblegum pop, indie, and Motown-era soul, a nigh-perfect representation of the MICHELLE sound. With warm guitars that sound like they were played through a rotary phone, jazzy keys, their signature vintage synth sound, and pure, honest vocals, "STUCK ON U" will be sure to have you stuck on MICHELLE.
Not your typical group, MICHELLE shares a collective vision, evident in their already fine-tuned sound. It would be an understatement to say it will be exciting to see what MICHELLE has in store for us next.
Listen to HEATWAVE below: