Made In Heights is the combined product of vocalist Kelsey Bulkin and producer Alexei Saba, aka Sabzi. Their collaborative work is cerebral and challenging, yet always rewards the listener with memorable hooks and unique narratives. If their name speaks symbolically for their music, then many of Made In Heights’ tracks can be read as heavily polished, well cared-for pop songs with complex, internal messages. Bulkin’s quiet, concerned emotions pour out of previous singles “Murakami” and “Pirourette”, and the percussion that surrounds her stories gently guides the listener into a perspective that looks out at the world from a very specific coordinate. Sonically, Sabzi creates percussive melodies that are somewhere in between alternative hip-hop and moody R&B.
Surprisingly, the duo’s newest single swivels dramatically in a more extroverted direction. While Bulkin’s lyrics are still idiosyncratically concerned with personal reflection, “Ghosts” finds Made In Heights brightening the melody with a staccato rhythm and a glowing hum of synthesizer. The rattles and clicks that initiate the track represent the songs formal interest in embodying a dance track, yet also directly personify the song’s nervous, yet hopeful mood. Bulkin’s monologue splits between two poles as well; she’s equally focused on self-care and the hard work of fostering a relationship with someone else. The power of “Ghosts” exists in Made In Height’s creation of these powerful antinomies. When we look through the eyes of a song, there’s more to see than a simple story described by words. Sabzi and Bulkin’s collaboration find a balance between all elements that make up their music, and the result is something thoughtful and quietly revelatory.