Uni Ika Ai [pronounced: oo-nee eekuh eye] is a Brooklyn based dreampop / artpop band comprised of music veterans Maia Friedman (Bobby), Peter Lalish (Lucius, Elizabeth & The Catapult), Tom Deis (Via Audio), and Dan Drohan. The band’s recently released debut album, Keeping A Golden Bullseye In The Corner of My Mind, incorporates elements of experimentalism, psychedelic haze, and eclectically unique pop — a “rhythmic, wonderfully askew brand of ethereal pop” (Stereogum) 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 was born out of a desire for improvisation and experimentation. While on tour with Lucius in 2014, Lalish would record improvised snippets made during sound checks 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. For Bullseye, the band enlisted D. James Goodwin as both producer and saxophonist, having him add occasional exuberant accents of jazz-inspired improvisation to the album’s atmospheric doses of peace and chaos. “Just like dreams, [Uni Ika Ai’s] songs pulse on airwaves that are both viscerally familiar and also slightly out of touch with the world we’ve come to live in” (ThrdCoast).
Photo credit: Alex Munro