Primer is the alias and creative project of vocalist/producer Alyssa Midcalf. Originally from Palm Springs, California she now lives and creates music in Detroit, MI.
With her debut album, Hyper Individualism and Advanced Novelty, Midcalf showcases her skills as both a vocalist and songwriter. The sound of the album, which was composed heavily on a Roland Juno synthesizer, is characterized by driving drum beats, sub-heavy bass lines and shimmering synth leads. Midcalf’s vocals are airy yet dynamic, binding her songs together with a reverberating surrealism. To see these elements on full display, look no further than her haunting cover of The Beach Boys song Til I Die.
Opting to define the visual aesthetic of Primer, Midcalf makes use of striking primary colors in her photos and videography that contrast some of the music’s darker elements.
Partly inspired by the indie time travel film of the same name, Midcalf says she was also drawn to the sense of futurism the word Primer invokes. This is fitting with the tone of her debut album, which brings to mind images of a dystopian disco.
Midcalf, who gained some attention as one half of the duo Parts, makes her introduction as Primer with the single Anesthetized on the Young Heavy Souls label.