Theatrical and full of intrigue, Misty Me combines sound sources from across the board for a memorably dramatic performance.
Bounding between a stripped back, Amanda Palmer reminiscent section, and a heavier, more intense level of instrumentation, Katherine Aly creates an attention-demanding sequence of musical events.
Vocally, the delivery sits somewhere between a typical radio pop song, a 1930s British stage musical and an indie rendition of a nursery rhyme. Melodically speaking, a very simple lullaby-esque monotone takes place with slight embellishments between chord tone voicings.
Plucked harp strings offer variations of pulled chords and arpeggiated sequences with a vaguely bard-like quality. With a tendency to lean on the minor qualities, the overall instrumentation adds slight colour with extensions but never reaches so far as to detract from its single-minded intensity.
The most stand-out feature of this track is the contrasting tonal qualities of the percussion section. Entering only in the dynamic peaks of the song, the drums bring an industrial sonicality that is at stark stylistic odds to the surrounding instrumentation. Aggressive and full of dissonant crashes and noise under each hit, this section brings out images of steampunk aesthetics and metallic minimalism in a Trent Reznor vein.
Throughout its duration, Misty Me maintains a melancholic atmosphere with a very slight surrealist feel, engineered by its instrumentation and somewhat unconventional mixing. Echoing backing vocals sit almost inaudible in the back of the mix, only particularly noticeable in the sparser areas of the track. The reverb used throughout is characterised by its dry delivery and withdrawn presence.
Overall, Misty Me doesn’t make for light listening, instead unabashedly dragging the listener around by its own intentions. It owns up to its own intensity and envelopes it in an appropriate amount of drama.
Described as ‘avant-pop’, Edinburgh based artist Katherine Aly has been played and performed live on several radio shows. Also working in photographic art with Jannica Honey, they had a recent feature in Vogue Italia.
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