The breakthrough 2013 single “I’m Not Dancing” by Tirzah makes you double-check if something is up with your speakers. The flute play like something is stuck inside the instrument. The drums clack like they are ripping apart. The whole thing is blown out to the core, barely holding on as an appropriate dance-pop track.
The producer behind the rough-edged pop song is Mica Levi, who is most popular from her work as Micachu of Micachu and the Shapes. Levi creates a rather kitchen-sink-type sound, grabbing whatever she can find to make what passes as a house track. This approach has been Levi’s signature sound in Micachu and the Shapes, and the band’s 2009 debut album “Jewellery” thrives off this dissonant yet melodic production.
In the center of the clatter stands Tirzah. Despite the noise, she sings and dances completely unphased by the disorienting sound and rhythm. “I’m not dancing, I’m fighting,” Tirzah sings, summing up her role amidst the anxious beat. Her presence makes the alien-sounding dance-pop feel fresh and natural, and Tirzah proves to be the perfect match for Micachu’s wonky beats.
This year, the two return to release a new EP titled “No Romance” from the dance label Greco-Roman on April 21. Apparently, the two describes the new EP as Tirzah and Levi’s “emo” EP. But when you hear the title track, you start to question what the duo’s definition for “emo” exactly means.
Compared to “I’m Not Dancing,” “No Romance” is a much sleeker dance-pop with none of Levi’s signature noisy sounds cropping up in the track. Warm synths swell and fill the space, while the drums kick a steady rhythm in a R&B style. Meanwhile, Tirzah comfortably settles into the gentle beat as she plays around more vocally. From first listen, “No Romance” seems to showcase the strength of Tirzah more so than Levi.
The partnership between Tirzah and Mica Levi in “No Romance” proves once again that the two make an incredible duo. The chemistry between them both is impressive, and it’s the biggest thing that makes me come back to their work.