Kazyak’s highly-anticipated new album Odyssey
The lyrics that float through the air around us via a soft, tender vocal occupying the eye of a slow-motion sonic hurricane in “Paper Birds” are like something out of a dream. They’re enigmatic, imagistic and simple, and yet the way that our singer executes this surreal serenade feels almost virtuosic. This immaculate exhibition of poetry is par for the course in all of the songs on Kazyak’s highly-anticipated new album Odyssey, a record that has got both critics and fans talking about the mind-bending music of its starring indie band. It’s a one of a kind listening experience that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for something a little different this summer.
What Kazyak have composed for us in Odyssey is as contemplative on the instrumental front as it is thought-provoking lyrically, which isn’t as typical a find as one might assume it would be nowadays. Tracks like the spacey “Contravertical” and “Rocket” have just as much to say to us in their wordless melodic ribbonry as they do in their exquisite verses (though, much in the style of the Cocteau Twins, they’re rather difficult for us to discern in “Rocket”). None of the space in this LP goes unutilized; in terms of efficiency, this is the best album I’ve heard all year long.
I would have made the piercing tonality of the guitars a little less intimidating in “Smoke Jumper” and “Discover,” but I can definitely respect the intriguing concept that Kazyak was attempting to use in both of these songs. There’s a low-fidelity edge to Odyssey that wasn’t present in past releases like Reflection and Happy Camping, but instead of marring the urbane textures of the music in atonality, it maximizes the avant-gardism of this record and makes everything sound so much more intellectual and highbrow than I ever anticipated it would be.
It’s completely hypothetical, but I think that a lot of the songs on this album would sound just as brooding acoustically as they do in this electrified form (especially trackes like “Camouflage” and “Paper Bird”). If for no other reason than to hear how they would translate, I think that an acoustic remix of a couple of these compositions would actually attract even more attention towards Kazyak’s larger discography, but no matter what they decide to release next, my gut tells me that, as always, they’re going to do just fine with their fans and the press.
Admittedly, I wasn’t over the moon with what I heard in the last two releases from Kazyak, but they’ve made some considerable stylistic improvements in Odyssey that have caused me to reassess my early opinions of this group. They’re not searching for their sound anymore, and they’ve definitely worked out some of the kinks that they had in regards to their compositional consistency to the point of sounding like a completely different band in certain songs here. Kazyak are finally sounding like an elite psych-rock crew on this album, and that’s something for which I believe they deserve a lot of praise across the board.