If Modest Mouse and Bon Iver had a baby, they would name it Kazyak, and it would be one of those gorgeous celebrity babies seen on magazines. See The Forest, See The Trees, the debut EP for this obscure Minneapolis band, is as good as one can hope an indie record to be. Versatile and fluctuating but consistent, the band has made for a prime work of indie rock and folk.
The record opens up with “Pieces Of My Map,” a beautifully winding piece featuring banjo and string arrangement to complement the traditional nostalgia of Midwestern indie. The rest of the record follows suit with the same elements adding themselves to an array of different songs, such as the quiet, nylon string-driven “Tar Baby” and the more driving closing track “Disposition,” with the mellow electronic improvisation on “Part II: Pitch Thick” as an exceptional standout piece.
More than anything on the record, the key element that brings it all of its beauty is its understated nature. Nothing is imposing enough to make it an indulgent record, as there is an almost perfect balance that persists throughout. It is never too emotional, too electrically driven or melodic and quiet, and there is a steady succession of vocal verses and instrumental breaks. It never becomes too prevalent from any side, and if it does, it is only for a short while.
Despite not reaching full-length duration, a tremendous feat has to be credited in Kazyak’s name for this album, which gives very little hints of being a debut EP. If their talent has given such fruitful results so early on, it is almost wild to think of what the sophomore release will bring.
In A Word: Wistful