Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
The project of Adelaide, Australia's Mark Mitchell, Clue to Kalo began as glitchy laptop pop but evolved into a symphonic indie pop band. As a child, Mitchell pretended he was a recording artist, making up songs and cover artwork for fake albums, but didn't want to learn how to play an instrument. He channeled his imagination into writing -- and even pursued a Ph.D. in English -- but revisited making music when a high-school friend showed him computer multi-track recording. Mitchell began experimenting with electronic music, and he became proficient enough that Mush Records released his first album, Come Here When You Sleepwalk, in 2003. While on tour for that album, Mitchell enlisted a band of backing musicians who had almost as little musical experience as he did. Playing music live with other people had an effect on Clue to Kalo's next album, 2005's One Way, It's Every Way. Mitchell conceived the album as a "musical palindrome," with more negative songs in its first half and more positive ones in the second, but its mix of live and electronic instrumentation and more sophisticated song structures made it a departure from Come Here When You Sleepwalk. The vinyl-only Man Who Took a Step Expecting a Stair But Instead Got Level Ground EP, which arrived in late 2006, moved Clue to Kalo further toward live instrumentation and featured a cover of the Beatles' "Mother Nature's Son." Mitchell and company finished the third Clue to Kalo full-length, Lily Perdida, in 2007, but the album -- which told the story of a woman from birth to death via the people around her -- wasn't released until early 2009.