Press play and begin a slide through the voyeuristic window that peers into lives locked away by a seemingly endless pandemic soundtracked by Mike Simonetti. “Indoor Life” is Simonetti’s newest sonic expression that was born from the impact of COVID-19 on his life, as well as, those he calls friends, family, and peers. The mix and visual accompaniment is a breathtaking experience that reminds us that humanity is tough enough to fight through unraveling emotion as a singular unit bound by our consciousness and perilous journey through hardship.
For the unacquainted, Mike Simonetti has a storied history, which has seen him become an unrivaled influence and tastemaker of inventive music across genres. He has founded several labels including the now-defunct, Troubleman Unlimited, and his current project, 2MR. Under the Troubleman Unlimited imprint, he is credited with breaking the Chromatics and Glass Candy. The label also released records for an impressive array of indie darlings including Zola Jesus, The Walkmen, and James Murphy’s first band, Speedking.
Now working under 2MR, the label he founded with Mike Sniper and Adam Gerrard, Simonetti continues carving out unpredictable sonic pioneers, those that don’t abide to any set of rules, except those of their on construct and ingenuity. It is also through 2MR that he releases his own music, including “Indoor Life”.
As one half of acclaimed techno duo Pale Blue, Simonetti is quite adept at weaving together tightly wound aural experiences with intrigue and technicolor sound design that radiates raw emotional electricity. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that “Indoor Life” is an incredible multi-faceted experience.
The hour-long mixtape is simply awe-inspiring and pairs exquisitely with the real-life windowing of the visual participants, which include Joe Goddard and Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip, Kedr Livanskiy, Lauren Flax, Rebolledo, Stefan Ringer, Tommie Sunshine, Willie Burns, Justin Strauss, Max Pask, Man Power and many more. What takes shape is connective tissue and poignant currents that harness the honesty and raw experience of today’s current climate, which anyone viewing and listening will feel as the whole experience invades their senses. The incendiary mix and striking visual narrative highlight Simonetti’s creative audacity and genius that has seen him become the ultimate tastemaker and artist-breaker.
To better understand the creativity and idea behind “Indoor Life”, Mike simonetti had this to say:
I put together an album over the last few months, and I wrote a bunch of my friends and I asked them to send me short videos of them doing mundane day to day quarantine-type things. I recently taught myself how to make movies and videos, and I really really enjoy making movies almost as much as music. So I put together an hour-long film with the record as the soundtrack.
The title of the record and movie is “Indoor Life“. There is an old post-punk band from the 80s with the same name, and it seemed to me to be a perfect fit.
The songs on this record are my way of working through this mess, my way of dealing with the death and guilt that surrounds me these days.
We are all feeling a little extra vulnerable now and the album was written for those of us who feel alone, who feel misunderstood. These songs are dedicated to the people who you go to when you need them, your friends, your family, and even music itself. It’s about whatever or whoever you call Home.
Although there are definitely some emotional parts in this movie, I had no intention of making a weep fest. Quarantine is indeed lonely, but it can also be funny, ridiculous, and boring.
Mike Simonetti is unparalleled when it comes to understanding the sonic medium and its relationship with the visual. His drop of “Indoor Life” is exemplary of his artistic genius and brings us something filled with emotion that is well worth the listen and view. To experience it, follow the link here or scroll down.
00:00 Easter Sunday
8:38 Here I Love You
15:50 Birth (excerpt)
19:13 Rebirth (excerpt)
27:26 Around You
35:30 You And Me
42:46 Broadway (excerpt)
44:45 The Caterpillar (excerpt)
55:15: Cue Music