This is a great day. I’ve got a fantastic new song, “TVI,” to premiere for you. It’s by Primer — AKA Alyssa Midcalf — a gifted, Detroit-based singer/producer with a penchant for pairing meaningful lyrics with engaging synth colors. This entrancing song will be with you for a long time.
Midcalf, known for her role as one-half of the duo Parts, introduced the world to Primer with “Anesthetized” last year via YHS Records. Like that cut and subsequent releases “A Broken Person’s Game” and “The Firmament,” “TVI” is from her forthcoming full-length album, Novelty, which will release on YHS on March 1.
Here’s what Midcalf had to say about “TVI,” according to a press release:
“TVI stands for ‘The Void Inside’ and is a song about Debra Lafave. The lyrics go between describing her court case and my personal feelings of living in a society that creates abusers like her. It’s ultimately about how it’s in our human nature to take a little piece away from someone else’s soul to fill a void inside of us that was created when someone took away something from our soul to try to fill their void. And the cycle goes on and on and on — the cycle of trauma and abuse.”
Midcalf crafted the songs on Novelty relying heavily on a Roland Juno synth, layered with a driving rhythm section, and substantive bass lines.
Novelty is partly inspired by the indie time-travel film of the same name, showcasing Midcalf’s interest in the sense of futurism her new project’s name invokes, according to press materials.
(I want to note that, as a massive Beach Boys and Brian Wilson fan, I’m in awe of her cover of “‘Til I Die,” which is one of Wilson’s best compositions with his band. You can find the haunting original on 1971’s Surf’s Up. Midcalf takes that version and injects a synthesized cascade of deconstructed colors reminiscent of the apprehensive wonder of the classics of chillwave. This is a fascinating choice for a Beach Boys cover, given the rather obscure nature of the classic cut.)