alice and michi

strange bloom

released tuesday

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It's not common knowledge, but there's a corner of the Scottish Borders that keeps one foot firmly in the New York art scene. Over the past few years, Galashiels record label Shark Batter has released a series of beguiling works by Kono Michi, a Brooklyn-based classical violinist turned indie singer. Sister label Kenji Records now follows on with Michi's latest project, a 10-track album conceived and performed as a duo with Alice Talon.

From the breathily staccato opening of Cairo through the fractured jazz of Fighters to the electro-classicalism of Goldrush, this is chamber pop at its most glorious, the competing musical textures held together by the silken knot of vocal harmonies.

And when those voices rise to the heights of the angels on You Could Be My Guy, you can hear the spirit of Brian Wilson wafting through the studio, directing the instrumental cameos as each plays its part in pushing back the musical boundaries.