The curiously named Icarus Himself (presumably after a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting) is the solo venture of Nick Whetro, who is also a member of the Madison, WI group National Beekeepers Society. Where the full band is a rock and roll group, this side-project is a calmer, more subdued effort.
In December, this self-released EP was issued, containing five songs. Opener "Scene (From a Car Crash)" has a pretty acoustic guitar melody that incorporates a drum machine and some surf-like electric guitar. The vocals are double-tracked and sound a little bit like the strained voice of Conor Oberst. "Amputee" is a succinct two-minute grimy electric pop song with underwater lead guitar. The middle track, "Last Lung," is an acoustic dirge that follows a similar formula to the first song minus the inclusion of an erratic drum machine.
The highlight of the EP is "Youth in Asia," which begins with the buzzing analog of a keyboard and some percussion that sounds like a dripping tap. Acoustic guitar comes in next and then some organ and the occasional piano note. The vocals are pained and uncomfortable. At the bridge, a slow psychedelic guitar solo is played by an electric guitar before the song comes to a halt.
This release is available via the Icarus Himself myspace page. Follow the buy it link for song samples and ordering information.