July 2015 National Music Reviews

Review: Mas Ysa – Seraph

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mas ysa seraph album coverMas Ysa
Seraph

Downtown Records
Street: 07.24
Mas Ysa = (Xiu Xiu x Perfume Genius) + M83

Mas Ysa’s debut LP is Thomas Arsenault’s impressive follow-up to his Worth EP, and it comprises the same electronic musicality—which traverses frenzy and gravitas—and his voice, which fervently warbles and bellows through the romantic and the near-histrionic. The album begins with the urgent, taut power of Arsenault’s titanic soundscape, which entwines blaring techno with bright synthpop. The most memorable moments of Seraph, though, come when Arsenault tones down the electropop for the cinematic. In “Sick,” Arsenault’s quavering timbre becomes whispery gossamer as glistening, swirling, high-pitched synths pulsate and chorus over beating drum machines. It’s a reminder of how Mas Ysa has surprised us from the start—he imbues the sturdiness of his sound, a mastery that is both precise and massive, with exhausting, all-consuming emotion. –Kathy Zhou