What first began in 2008 as a one-man-show side project by Nick Whetro under the Icarus Himself moniker has developed into an indie psych-electro-folk trio for 2010. The band's third release, a five-song EP entitled "Mexico," will be released by Madison, Wis., label Science of Sound on May 25. Leaning slightly more toward the electronic limb of the band's sound, the songs on "Mexico" utilize a good helping of drum machine beats and baritone guitar run through effects pedals, with added noise from electric guitar, percussion and various keyboards/organs for good measure. The band's instrumentation sets the perfect tone for Whetro's haunted tales of death, a childhood obese babysitter and love almost lost.
The new EP is the follow-up to 2008's "Icarus Himself" EP and 2009's full-length, "Coffins," which found Whetro teaming up with fellow National Beekeepers Society bandmate Karl Christenson. The duo worked together turning their minimalist folk songs into sampler-and-effects-pedals-infused soundscapes garnering them comparisons to Neutral Milk Hotel and David Bowie on acid. "Coffins" grabbed the attention of Science of Sound, who re-released the album in May of 2009. While "Coffins" was made with the help of some local musicians (other members of National Beekeepers Society and Sleeping in the Aviary), Icarus Himself was still a two-piece for live shows, and toured much of the midwest promoting their album. For "Mexico" the band adds a third member, drummer Brad Kolberg, on both the recording as well as to the live set.
Praise for 2009's "Coffins":
"If you want to get Coffins in a single sound bite, try 'lost Bowie demo tape overdubbed with acid confessions.'" -CokeMachineGlow
"Freewheeling pop songs flavored with a splash of sonic whiskey." -No Ripcord
"Where many have compared the guy to Beirut and Neutral Milk Hotel (I’ll give you the lite-psych of “This Means Nothing”), to these ears it’s more Spoon-noir shuffling." -World of Wumme
"The solo outlet of National Beekeepers Society's Nick Whetro. Icarus Himself emphasizes what lurks under NBS's reassuring guitar fuzz...he accompanies his death 'n' degradation tales with lonely echoes, double-tracked vocals, and the occasional drum machine." -The Onion, Madison A/V Club
"Confused characters traipse through a cold, ill-fated world, in which everything and everyone are imperfect and death rattles the bones of both the living and the dead." -The Isthmus
"...Whetro makes great use of macabre lyrics over music that is oftentimes soft, or at the very least unassuming." -Delusions of Adequacy
"I never cease to be amazed with the layers I uncover with each listen of 'Coffins.' I hate making comparisons but Icarus Himself do at times remind me of Neutral Milk Hotel in both sound and lyrical delivery, but those similarities wash away with repeated play when you realize the creative breadth within the band." -Dane101.com
Nick Whetro: vocals, guitar, sampler
Karl Christenson: baritone guitar, loop pedal, sampler, keyboards, organs
Brad Kolberg: drums
Jentri Colello: guest vocals on "Half Ton Load"
Recorded at Science of Sound and Orthtenson Ranch
Mixed at Orthtenson Ranch
Mastered by Justin Perkins
Sleeve artwork design by Mike Krol