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Mourning Michael Jackson, Celebrating Miike Snow

The New Now

It seems as if everyone on the planet is mourning the loss of Michael Jackson, including myself. Yet at the same time, I find myself thinking about another Miike. This isn't a man but a band and that's no typo, that's the way the collective known Miike Snow spell it. This trio takes its name from Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike, but two-thirds are from Sweden. The two Swedes--Christian Karlsson and Pontus Winnberg--have enjoyed previous success as Bloodshy & Avant, most notably for their Grammy-winning production work on Britney Spears' "Toxic," but have also worked with veteran divas Kylie Minogue and Madonna. Miike Snow's American singer/songwriter Andrew Wyatt also has a resume of some note. He worked with the Bird & the Bee's Greg Kurstin, and was once a member of the A.M. along with former Jeff Buckley collaborators Michael Tighe and Parker Kindred.

As Miike Snow, the trio has produced groovy remixes of Vampire Weekend's "The Kids Don't Stand A Chance" and Peter, Bjorn & John's "It Don't Move Me." Check 'em out below.

Yet the track that hooked me on Miike Snow isn't a remix, it's the trio's original recording of its own "Sylvia," one of several fine splendid tracks from the band's self-titled debut album, which was released earlier this year. For some reason--perhaps it's the tone and tempo--the song reminds me a bit of OneRepublic's monster pop hit "Apologize," only it's way cooler. Check out the band's recent performance of the track live in the studio for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.

As far as I know, no one in Miike Snow has ever worked with Michael Jackson, yet after all the Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson material has been played out, I've found myself turning to Miike Snow for the soundtrack to the endless stream of televised coverage related to Jackson's death. Miike Snow's music has the sort of isolation, loneliness and despair I imagine Jackson was feeling when he was trapped inside his mansion, wrestling with his demons, and preparing the launch the impossible comeback that was destined to be a too much for the frail King of Pop to handle. As you say goodbye to Michael Jackson, celebrate Miike Snow. Watch the clip below of "Burial," another track from the band's self-titled debut performed during its recent session on KCRW, and pick up Miike Snow's album.

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