Mixel Pixel - Let's Be Friends (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Mixel Pixel

Let's Be Friends (2008)

Mental Monkey

Things that rule: Cartoons, '80s music of the synthy variety, doodles, laid back tuneskis with the playfulness of The Moldy Peaches or The Velvet Underground, video game cartridges. Ways to describe Let's Be Friends by Mixel Pixel: Please see above. A multimedia trio that crafts delightfully poppy tunes with a Sega Genesis-bent and dresses with a neo-hippie slant, Mixel Pixel entertains even without a visual context.

Containing a half-hour's length of songs, Let's Be Friends charms without overstaying its welcome. Opening number "Whatever Happened to One" establishes the interplay between co-vocalists Rob Corradetti and Kaia Wong immediately. The song relates the bragging, strutting, and awkward attempts at being cool that accompanies flirting. "My parents are dead / They're up in the sky," Corradetti says in an attempt to wow Wong with his dark past. "My parents divorced when I was five," she counters. Later, on the title track, the two confess to each other that they were bullshitting for the sake of sounding deep. "If I didn't get struck by lightning would I still be interesting?" Corradetti asks.

I appreciate this kind of lyrical frankness. Mixel Pixel weaves hipster stories within first person narratives that completely sidestep New York City pretentiousness. Not that reading heavily into the band's songs is necessary. One could just as easily coast on the musical arrangements. Like Of Montreal with less of a Beatles/I'm-gonna-whip-out-my-cock obsession, Let's Be Friends delivers experimental indie pop that remembers to include catchy choruses. Dig those atmospheric guitar/bass lines and Technicolor vibes. Now to see if the images sync up with the sounds.