The ability to allow a listener to get lost in a moment is one of the most redeeming qualities that music can boast. Twin Cities indie band Kazyak provides an untold number of those moments with their brand new release, “Reflection.”
“Reflection” dropped the first week of November and, as thoughts of winter begin their slow crawl across the Midwest, songwriter/guitarist Peter Frey and his bandmates Andy Wolfe (guitar), Pat Hayes (synth, piano), Tyler Safranek (bass), and Nick Grewe (drums) are ushering in a different kind of chill with synth-heavy melodies that rise and fall with such purpose that a listener is practically forced to close their eyes and fade away into euphoria.
The album opens with a track called First Do No Harm. The tune exemplifies the experimental spirit of Kazyak with a series of flute-like keyboard breaks and a backing track filled with a wide variety of unique sounds that only serve to make the musicianship of Kazyak all the more interesting. Frey’s falsetto-esque vocals are also on full display here and do well to entice listeners into future tracks, proving that the album’s opening number was chosen wisely.
Although the music is enchanting all on its own, the lyrics that fill out “Reflection” should not be discounted. One titular track, and my personal favorite, is titled Androcles. The song tells the familiar folktale about a slave who escapes into the woods and comes upon a lion with a thorn in his paw. The kind slave removes the thorn and in the process makes a life-long friend in the lion. This story was not one I expected to encounter on this album, but the interestingly told tale backed by a heavily reverb-laden guitar was a refreshing surprise.
Kazyak released a music video to coincide with the album’s first single, 10,000 Flowers. Studio recording sequences alternate with psychedelic desert scenes complete with trippy elements soaked in bright greens, oranges, purples, and yellows. The feel of the video is a good visual slice of what the entire album makes the listener feel.
Kazyak offers an opportunity for a person to get lost in a sea of melancholy and as bad a rap as that word can get, it is a positive force on “Reflection.” The music paired with thoughtfully written and pleasantly poignant lyrics provide an opportunity for enjoyment that shouldn’t be missed.