ATMIG recently released a new single/video, called “Trip.” ATMIG, which is short for “After the Money Is Gone,” is a band from Berkley, Michigan. The band is composed of: Tobias, on vocals and guitar; Julia, on vocals; Dave sits in the pocket; Phil, on bass, mandolin, cello and cigar box; and Otto, on bass.
Stylistically, ATMIG is indie rock/shoegaze, aka dream pop. Shoegaze music utilizes spinning vocals, distorted guitar riffs and what is called “flanging.” Flanging is an audio effect that provides a “swooshing” sound. ATMIG, in my opinion, especially on “Trip,” is more indie rock than shoegaze, as the song doesn’t encompass the usual pedal effects associated with shoegaze.
“Trip” starts off with clicking, followed by the lead vocals, and then jumps into a bouncy shuffle beat courtesy of the drummer, Dave, who, by the way, does an admirable job. He sets the beat and keeps the time, which means he can get a job anywhere. The tune reminds me of something Modest Mouse might do. It’s got the same feel to it – original and creative.
The melody is catchy, driven by the guitars. There’s just a trace of folk influence in the melody, which gives it a curious permutation that works really well. The traditional/folksy element polishes the song in just the right way. It’s kind of hick, but in a cool way.
Tobias vocals are strong and he phrases well. A bit of an antiquated resonance pervades his voice, which gives the tune an original, imaginative flair. And Julia does excellent work, as she harmonizes with Tobias. She’s just a little high, which adds a tangential element to the vocals that serve to reinforce the conviction of the lyrics.
The video tells the tale of a young girl whose parents are constantly fighting. She gets in a box to escape the turmoil and blasts off into outer space via her imagination. When she returns, her parents are still arguing, so she takes off again. This time she ends up floating on a cloud where she meets a giant robot, a la The Iron Giant movie. She comes home once again, and now the parental tiff has escalated to pushing and shoving. Tension is mounting and the girl can’t stand it anymore. So while her parents scream at each other, she puts on her coat and leaves the house, which sits near a lake. Walking along a pier, she gets in a rowboat, pushes off and floats off to the middle of the lake.
As the video progresses, it cuts back and forth from ATMIG, playing their instruments, to the plight of the young girl. All the members of the band are dressing in outmoded clothing from another era, which adds a visual absurdity, a kind of paradox, to the young girl’s immediate problem. I liked the video, despite it being a bit depressing and heart-wrenching. It’s poignant and illustrates the emotional damage parents can inflict on their children.
“Trip” is an excellent tune: simple and straightforward melody, excellent arrangement and good production values. And I loved Julia’s dancing in the video, as she wears an atrociously sparkly dress. I’d like to see ATMIG drop a full-length album soon. To quote SpongeBob: “I’m ready, I’m ready.”
Find out more about ATMIG here.