The gradual rise of Made In Heights (Blue Scholars’ DJ/producer Sabzi and vocalist Kelsey Bulkin) has been a slow but intense burn. For a time, shortly after their relatively low-key but intensely beloved debut in early 2011, the duo topped this blog’s “most searched-for” list for about 30 days straight.
206UP has been a fan since the start. MIH is that rare electo-pop act that finds the perfect balance between the glaring computerized elements of its compositions (Sabzi), and the organic humanist component of its vocals (Kelsey). Success for groups like this depends on existing in the harmony between. (See also: Lorde.)
Made In Heights appeared live on stage for the first time at the Blue Scholars show in Brooklyn, about a month and a half ago. A lot of the songs they played were like the new one you hear below: calculated, bombastic and, at times, seemingly frantic. What remains most impressive about Kelsey Bulkin is how she uses her upper register to neutralize Sabzi’s digital bluster. This new track is called “Death”, but it’s really all about how much life this impressive singer breathes into a modern musical device that is, for all intents and purposes, inanimate without her.