There’s been a fair bit of buzz lately about American indie pop artist K Michelle DuBois, and today, the occasion has arisen to introduce you all to her new Harness LP.
This DuBois third solo release – a mélange of classic power-pop and 90s college rock. But relative to her previous album Astral Heart (2016), this album boasts a heftier sonic tone than her with its bouncy rhythms, jangly guitars and sing-song charm.
DuBois believes in hooks and she’s put her talent where her mouth is to bring us the best the indie pop/rock world has to offer, showcasing her intrinsic talent for delivering familiar catchy structures and pushing her work into new and interesting territory. Lucky for me, a good chunk of it harkens back to the golden age of 90s college rock. Though her vocals bear an uncanny resemblance to Susanna Hoffs from The Bangles and also Cindy Wilson from The B-52s, this album should also appeal to those who appreciated The Breeders, Sheryl Crow, Jenny Lewis, Juliana Hatfield Three, and Liz Phair.
Based in Atlanta, GA, Dubois’ counts Blondie’s ‘Autoamerican’ and Divinyls among her influences, along with Stevie Nicks, Roxy Music, Flaming Lips, Grandaddy, and Fever Ray. DuBois’s live band includes Chandler Rentz (drums), Jim Prible (bass), André Griffin (keys) and Dan Dixon (guitar), who also recorded, produced and mastered this album at RCDC studio in Atlanta.
While DuBois’ vocals convey a certain luminosity, here they offer a unique juxtaposition to the denser stew of spaced-out keys, dynamic groove, bold guitar and bass work. An aural collage of disparate influences – from Eno (Becoming Real) and Sabbath (City Light) to Kate Bush (Dream Receiver) deftly intermingle throughout the collection.
“To me, Harness is about recognizing and utilizing all this amazing energy that is radiating. I’ve been deeply feeling my hippie roots and, at the same time, intrigued by advances in technology. I’m inspired by such stories as Ex Machina and West Word, which both invigorate and produce intense melancholy in me,” says K Michelle Dubois.
K Michelle DuBois got into music very young, building harmonies to pass the time during the family’s frequent road trips. DuBois began writing her own material as a teenager in Nashville after receiving a bass guitar for Christmas. She crafted her early songs on bass, a Yamaha synthesizer and a drum machine in her parents’ four-track studio, but a flood of creative possibilities came upon discovering open-tuning on acoustic guitar, thereafter solidifying her commitment to songwriting.
After forming her first band Ultrababyfat and releasing Silver Tones Smile (1998), the group’s infectious pop-punk sound garnered national attention, leading to opening slots for numerous noteworthy acts Pavement and PJ Harvey, and a 2001 stint on The Warped Tour as one of the few female-led bands showcased in the festival’s lineup.
After the band disbanded in 2005, DuBois formed Luigi to explore her more progressive, art-rock leanings. After seven years together and ample critical acclaim, she re-emerged as a solo artist under the tempered guidance of producer Ben Price at Studilaroche, releasing her debut album Lux Capone in 2012. DuBois also contributes vocals for Atlanta-based dream-gaze collective Parsons Rocket Project.
As of October 12, Harness will available via online stores and streaming platforms. The album can be ordered from the artist via at Bandcamp.
All songs written by K Michelle DuBois.
Recorded, produced and mastered by Dan Dixon at RCDC studio in Atlanta, GA.
Dan Dixon – guitars, keys, backing vocals and percussion
K Michelle Dubois – vocals, guitar, keys and percussion
Chandler Rentz – drums
2. Love and Only Love
3. Velvet Eyes
4. City Lights
5. Wild Weed
6. Heart Like a Yardstick
8. Becoming Real
9. Margot on the Ocean
10. Dream Receiver
Also enjoy her recent video for ‘Reckless’
All words via Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found at his author’s archive. Paul’s website is hiapop Blog and you can follow him on Twitter here, and on Facebook here.