Icarus Himself’s sophomore full-length Career Culture is a sonic cinema in electro-psych-folk, drenched in the influences of artists like Kurt Vile, Deerhunter, The Who, and David Bowie.
The story begins with frontman Nick Whetro living in Indiana, working third shift in a window manufacturing plant. “Wake Up / It’s time to do it all over again” (the opening track) evokes images of the film Metropolis. After his shift at the factory in this sepia-shaded scene, “Mornings At The Bar” sets the mood for the sunrise as workers trek to the bar at six in the morning. “There was nothing else to do in town. It’s about people who have nothing to look forward to but getting their paycheck and spending it at the bar. It seemed like they never wanted to leave,” illustrates Whetro.
“WI via IN” marks the shift in Career Culture. As the montage of the fictitious soundtrack, the looped bass line with added organs and synth give the song a Planet of the Apes/The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly vibe. This is where he makes a break for it. Whetro leaves the depressing factory life to start over in Madison, Wisconsin.
No epic journey would be complete without the love story, and Career Culture is no different. “On Your Side,” is replete with love-soaked euphoria. Written about the girl our protagonist would marry, the song is about “trusting someone that’s close to you.” Built on a loop of a drum machine hi-hat and a fuzzed-out Casio synth. “I found it hard / to think of past times / I’ve stopped trying now / because you’re on my side.”
Icarus Himself was started by Nick Whetro in 2008 as a solo project and has developed into a trio to include drummer Brad Kolberg and multi-instrumentalist Karl Christenson. Career Culture is the third in a series of auto-biographical recordings, beginning with Coffins, released by Science of Sound in May of 2009, followed by the EP Mexico, released almost exactly one year later. This new album was recorded at Science of Sound’s studio, engineered by Ricky Riemer and mixed with the band with the help of Riemer. Guest players include Michael Gallope on keys (Janka Nabay & the Bubu Gang, Starring, Skeletons), Jonathan Lang on keys and clarinet, Jacqueline Kursel on cello, and Rob Ferrett on tenor sax. [source: planetary group]
Career Changes will be available October 11 on Science of Sound Records.