Michelle Limanje’s “Sane” is a Dazzling Array of Musical and Emotional Contradictions Reconciled

Michelle Limanje, photo from Bandcamp

Michelle Limanje’s vocals seem to invoke both the compellingly alien aspect of Grace Jones and sonically varied and imaginative traits of Lower Dens on her single “Sane.” The vocal processing gives the lyrical delivery an artificial human quality in moments and more vulnerably human in others. The guitar melody runs a gamut of textural and delicately filigreed in structure to more robust and distorted while engaging directly with the chorus. Synths give a counter melody that runs through the song and expressive percussion seems to control the flow of the song’s constantly evolving dynamic. And that’s what makes this song so interesting, it establishes a mood but its ways of maintaining that atmosphere shift from the beginning to the end so that it’s like a tour of some of the more experimental rock of the 1990s but with a hybrid aesthetic that could only be fully possible now with an almost sound design approach to the arrangements. It’s like a gentler version of Curve’s fusion of dream pop and industrial music and it’s treatment of the subject of a complex relationship and the suggestion of an element of co-dependence and dysfunction being worked out adds yet another layer of disparate energies reconciled as the song progresses to the end. Listen to “Sane” on YouTube.