Keys, sax, bass, and drums. Nashville-based Miki Fiki isn’t the first band without guitars, and it won’t be the last. But this configuration, born in a ranch-style home in 2017, has given the group a limitless versatility: their first show was a sweaty living room on Estes Rd., another, a near sellout at Nashville’s East Room.
The quartet—Ted Hartog [vocals, keys], Alex Clayton [drums, percussion], Hunter Mulkey [bass], and Julia Meredith [winds, horns]— has found its sound. From their debut self-titled EP to their danceable single “Stranger”, their music has been influenced from artists as varied as Anderson .Paak to Ben Folds. Jazz/funk instrumentals combine with lyric-heavy verses and expansive harmonies to create a sonic landscape as indie as it is pop.
“There’s a playfulness to it,” Ted says. “I’ve been a bit sensitive my whole life, and time always seems to reveal an element of drama in those emotionally-charged experiences. [The emotions] are valid and what you feel is what you feel. But this band is a place to look at those emotions, those real, lived-experiences, and throw a soft smile on the whole thing.”