Ages 16 and up
Friday, November 08
Doors: 7pm Show: 8pm
Lost Lake Presents MICHELLE on Friday, November 8th.
MICHELLE first started because producers Julian Kaufman and Charlie Kilgore wanted to write an album celebrating their love of New York City. All 6 members of the group grew up there, and their fluorescent R&B encapsulates the best the city has to offer: the glow of neon lights bouncing off rain-slicked streets, the taste of a sticky mango purchased on a summertime Q train.
But over the last few years, the band has spent a lot of time away from home. Amid the success of 2018’s HEATWAVE, and 2022’s AFTER DINNER WE TALK DREAMS, they traveled the U.S. and Europe opening for Gus Dapperton, Arlo Parks, and Mitski, headlining their own shows, and playing festivals. It was an experience that shifted their perspective and sense of place.
While writing their new album, Songs About You Specifically, MICHELLE decided to rent out a house in Ojai, California for three weeks. They were surrounded by dry heat, lizards, the smell of ripe cactus fruit. Suddenly everything was quieter, slower. “The mornings were so nice,” Sophia D’Angelo says of this time. “We would all make coffee and journal on a picnic table outside. We would usually split up into two groups of three. Whoever finished writing first made dinner and then the other group would clean the dishes.”
The experience shifted the tone of their work. While their earlier music channeled the churning restlessness of the city, these news songs meander and expand. MICHELLE will always know how to write a delicious hook: soaring indie pop track “Mentos and Coke” oozes with intoxicating sweetness and synth pop number “Oontz” eases effortlessly into a silky groove, even as both songs detail unstable relationships. But, throughout much of the record, the band let riffs simmer and melodies drift. The distorted vocals on “Trackstar” diffuse into a starry reverie. The synth notes on “Painkiller” float by breezily as MICHELLE sing about running away from their feelings.
The months spent touring, as well as the experience of living together in Ojai, fostered new bonds between the band. “There are friends I’ve had for almost my whole life who I won’t know as intimately as I know members of this group,” Emma Lee says. “There isn’t really an opportunity for that in any other kind of relationship in your life.” The sense of trust and comfort they fostered with each other allowed them to be more candid and vulnerable in their songwriting too. “It’s so easy to write a generic love or breakup song,” Julian Kaufman says. “But many of these stories are true. We’re coming from a really honest place.”
Part of that honesty involves self-reflection. Whether they’re apologizing for being away so often on “Missing On One,” admitting to numbing their negative emotions on “Painkiller,” or lusting after someone while in a relationship on “Akira,” there is poignant bittersweetness to these songs because MICHELLE reveal their mistakes and regrets as clearly as they do their desires. It makes for textured, deeply compelling music that reveals what it means to be human: constantly yearning, chasing, loving, faltering, and restarting, in no particular order.
Without friends or loved ones to hold you accountable, to witness your life and push you to engage with its jagged and unsavory bits, it is easy to airbrush your reality. But, while making Songs About You Specifically, MICHELLE slowed down, cut out any distractions, and fostered a sense of communal closeness that necessitated honesty. They ended up with a collection of songs that feel like the truth.
– 16+, under 16 admitted with ticketed guardian
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