News, Reviews

Michelle Releases New Single ‘FYO’ & Self-Directed Video

January 29, 2021

MICHELLE

Releases New Single ‘FYO’ & Self-Directed Video

MICHELLE has unveiled their first new single of 2021. Titled “FYO,” the track powerfully recounts the four lead singers’ experiences growing up with mixed race identities. Globally premiered today via The Matt Wilkinson Show on Apple Music 1, the track arrives alongside a music video directed by the band’s own Layla Ku and Emma Lee 

Michelle jump right into their immediate arrangement. Straight into the complex instrumentation and honest exploration filled with buoyant beats and raw lyrics. The reflective lyrics will bring a realization to the audience as Michelle once again creates another vital composition, fusing important lyrics with a soulful and sweeping ambiance. Michelle are a truly forcible outfit, if their compelling rhythms don’t move you, their message certainly will.

Speaking on the message behind the song, Jamee Lockard from the band shares:

“FYO” is about belonging to different worlds but feeling rejected by both. Growing up as a mixed-race minority in the US, my self concept was warped by other people telling me what I am and am not, pushing and pulling me between identities. Although my feelings of cultural dissonance still ebb and flow, now I have the vocabulary, support system, and perspective to unpack that inner conflict on my own terms.

We should never give others the authority to define who we are.”

Born-and-bred New Yorkers, MICHELLE is refreshingly comprised of predominately POC + queer members. The collective references equally diverse influences — Noname, Led Zeppelin, Sly and the Family Stone, Orion Sun, My Chemical Romance, SZA — all of which distill to create a cohesively diverse sound.

The group’s unique stylings are the result of songwriting from Sofia D’Angelo, Julian Kaufman, Charlie Kilgore, Layla Ku, Emma Lee and Jamee Lockard with production from Kaufman and Kilgore.

The release of “FYO” marks the first new single from the group since “UNBOUND,” released last October. That track debuted as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World and was met with praise from editorial outlets including NYLON (“glittery, soulful track”) + Refinery29 (“‘UNBOUND’ wraps listeners in dreamy nostalgia”), among others.

The official video for “UNBOUND” was premiered via The FADER, who praised the band’s “plush R&B pop that feels wholly indebted to the flexuous city that surrounds them.” The official lyric video was created by UK-based animator Juliet Bryant – watch here – whose other recent credits include animating and directing the official video for The Japanese House x Justin Vernon collab “Dionne.”

MICHELLE was recently included in the NME 100 “Essential emerging artists for 2021,” with the UK outlet praising the band’s “crisp R&B with a bright indie flourish… musical serotonin you’ll want to bathe in for hours.” The accolade comes on the heels of their single “SUNRISE” being named to Spotify’s Best Indie Songs of 2020.

Earlier this month, the band’s remix of Samia’s “Minnesota” was released via her ‘The Baby Reimagined’ project. Featuring a new original verse and reworked production, the track sits alongside other covers and reworked tracks from Briston Maroney, Bartees Strange, Anjimile, and more.

MICHELLE’s debut single of 2020 – “SUNRISE” – was released in July to praise from V Magazine, NME, Dork, The Line of Best Fit and more. The track marked the first new single from the collective since their self-released 2018 debut album HEATWAVE.

A streets-and-skylines homage to their hometown, HEATWAVE was created in just 2 weeks – seamlessly weaving together R&B-inflected pop, sleek synths, plush harmonies, and buoyant groove. Heralded by stand-out track “THE BOTTOM,” the album amassed millions of streams, led to shows for sold-out NYC crowds, and earned critical acclaim from The Fader, NME and more.

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