When last we heard from Oakland-based art-pop group Makeunder, the project of its figurehead Hamilton Ulmer, they were releasing a wonderfully animated video for their single, “Great Headless Blank.” Now, Makeunder is set to return with a debut full-length, Pale Cicada, which is led by “Promethean Heat.” The latest offering charges up and blasts off like a rocket ship as Ulmer pushes rock and pop boundaries once again, with intricate details rewarding repeat listeners.
On the track, Ulmer details; “‘I once had sex in the woods with a stranger I just met,’ my dad revealed to me about a month before he passed, totally unprovoked, a breathing tube in his nose, gaunt and hairless from radiation therapy. Maybe he had been keeping this small, unremarkable story to himself for decades, and out of desperation or perhaps as a way of tying up the loose ends of life as one does, saw the right moment to tell someone before the story slid into the crematorium with his body. He didn’t go into any details (thankfully), but I nonetheless wrote this song to honor his non-sequitur.
I built the song around a kaiju-sized bass line, inspired by Tune-Yards’ Nate Brenner’s bass tone. To my surprise and delight, I befriended Nate a couple years after I wrote it, and he ended up playing the bass part on the final version.”
Listen to Makeunder’s “Promethean Heat” below and look for more from Pale Cicada here.