Icarus Himself Artist Biography

as compiled by the users of last.fm
Name: Icarus Himself
Music Brainz ID: 5267e2c3-8b51-4118-a1c6-0906ad25283b
Last.fm url: https://www.last.fm/music/Icarus+Himself
listeners: 22672

Similar Artists: Hotel Eden, Jamaican Queens, Happy Jawbone Family Band, Lace Curtains, Dada Plan,
Popular Tags: indie, experimental, psychedelic, wisconsin, madison,

Published/Updated: 17 Jun 2009, 15:27

Biography: 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.


"Career Culture is exactly the ripe and nuanced record that 2009’s Mexico EP hinted at... Each piece is carefully juxtaposed against the others, creating a crisp, full-bodied minimalism—this is what Spoon might sound like if they focused more on live sound than studio." - Prefixmag, 7/10

"Where many have compared the guy to Beirut and Neutral Milk Hotel (I’ll give you the lite-psych of “This Means Nothing”), to these ears it’s more Spoon-noir shuffling." - World of Wumme

"The solo outlet of National Beekeepers Society's Nick Whetro. Icarus Himself emphasizes what lurks under NBS's reassuring guitar fuzz...he accompanies his death 'n' degradation tales with lonely echoes, double-tracked vocals, and the occasional drum machine." - The Onion, Madison A/V Club

"If you want to get Coffins in a single sound bite, try 'lost Bowie demo tape overdubbed with acid confessions.'" -CokeMachineGlow

"Confused characters traipse through a cold, ill-fated world, in which everything and everyone are imperfect and death rattles the bones of both the living and the dead." - The Isthmus

"...Whetro makes great use of macabre lyrics over music that is oftentimes soft, or at the very least unassuming." - Delusions of Adequacy

“Icarus Himself is the solo venture of National Beekeepers Society's Nick Whetro. With this project Whetro takes the refined distortion of the National Beekeepers and combines it with his wry and quirky vocals to make what I can only categorize as basement tape beauty... It is the minimal nature of Icarus Himself that makes them so appealing; with a few guitars, a drum machine, and a whole lot of dissonance, Whetro has masterfully done with a couple albums what many agonize to accomplish with endless releases -- which is to create something uniquely his own” - Dane101.com Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.

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