Uni Ika Ai are new to the Brooklyn scene, having only released three singles to date, but the four-piece, comprised of members of Lucius, Bobby, and Via Audio, have already won praise from Stereogum for their "rhythmic, wonderfully askew brand of ethereal pop" that The Wild Honey Pie says is "a new kind of off-kilter dream-pop that the genre has been waiting for."
Uni Ika Ai is Maia Friedman (vocals, keys, guitar), Peter Lalish (guitar), Tom Deis (bass), and Dan Drohan (drums). While on tour with Lucius in 2014, Lalish would record improvised snippets made during soundchecks and email them to Friedman, who would send improvised snippets recorded at home in Brooklyn, in return. The two musicians, once in the same room, would mold the abstract material into fully formed songs.
IMPOSE Magazine has the first listen to the band's newest single, a devotional song called "Mexico" which Friedman says was inspired by a story she happened upon over a decade ago:
"It was a story about an astronaut who was arrested after driving over 900 miles, allegedly wearing an adult diaper, for the attempted kidnapping of a romantic rival. I don't know why but I started making a loose connection between the twisting, emotional path of that story and this song. The themes of loneliness, obsession, and floating in the darkness of outer space began to emerge and the lyrics started to show their own unique meaning.
The mental and emotional tribulations of romantic love can be a lot to handle, and to imagine the strength and steadfastness it must take to venture out of this world, to be so far from the ones you love back on earth - it must be a very unique experience that pushes the limits to the extreme."
Pronounced "oo-knee ee-kuh eye," the four-piece will release their debut LP 'Keeping A Golden Bullseye In The Corner of My Mind' this October 14. The album is now available for pre-order with three instant-grat tracks: "Make You Better," "Soft In Ice" and "Mexico." Uni Ika Ai will celebrate the release of the album on October 18 at Union Pool [484 Union Ave, Brooklyn], with special guests Cantina and Pilot Violet.
"Maia's vocals. Oh my goodness, Maia's vocals... Absolutely exquisite."
"A rhythmic, wonderfully askew brand of ethereal pop."
"A new kind of off-kilter dream-pop that the genre has been waiting for."
- The Wild Honey Pie