Pikelet – Bug-In-Mouth

Before coming to Australia, where I’m studying until December, I was repeatedly told that there is no local music scene in Sydney. “It’s all DJs and clubs and $20 drinks and dress codes,” they said. Well apparently, these people never wandered outside of the two block radius encompassed by our campus. Sydney’s music scene is thriving.

Last week, I wandered into the Hopetoun Hotel (they call bars hotels, weird) in a wonderful town called Surry Hills to discover Pikelet, an Australian singer/songwriter/magician out of Melbourne. Sitting alone with a classical guitar, in front of two mics and above an assortment of loop and delay pedals, next to a lone tom-tom, underneath what seemed like a single ray of divine light, Pikelet built masterful, otherworldly arrangements that I still don’t believe could originate entirely from one person. After only one song, I knew: if I were to take a trip to a mystical land far, far away, Pikelet would be my soundtrack.

She weaves tales in the style of Joanna Newsom, meandering through songs with ever-evolving structures, forcing her stories to fit her melodies, all the while propelled by layers of accordion, synthesizers, classical guitar and vocal and percussive loops. If you’re into the above mentioned Ms. Newsom, Kate Bush, Mirah, Audrey Ryan, dig Sufjan’s arrangements or have a respect for Phil Elverum’s production style, then you’ve found a friend in Pikelet.

I know I’ve been captured by a sound when I can space out for an hour, not quite knowing what just happened, but having definitively vague memories of valleys and peaks, of half-conceived hooks and singular notes, that with a second listen, always evoke overwhelming deja vu, and nostalgia for something that might not exist. Basically, it’s when I get the chills. So, thanks for that, Pikelet. And I hope y’all get the chills too.

And my favorite lyric so far, from “Bug-In-Mouth”:

“Instead of sleeping, I’m going to keep going. Instead of counting sheep, I’m going to count how many bugs I eat in my sleep.”

And two songs! From her self-titled debut (and you can purchase the album from the link below, which you should):

Pikelet – Bug-In-Mouth

Pikelet – Size Matters

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