Song of the Hour: “Shame” by Mas Ysa

Why it rocks: I don’t know much about Mas Ysa yet, but I know the man behind it is named Thomas Arseneault, and I have no idea how in the world to pronounce that, but I don’t know how to pronounce Mas Ysa either, so it’s all good. The song doesn’t sound all the special at first. Arseneault’s voice is intriguing but very subdued at the beginning. It’s not till the synths appear in earnest when his voice first reaches that upper register where the voice sounds like it’s about to break. Who knows what he’s really saying there, but it’s the voice of someone who knows what shame is, and who desperately wants to spare someone else that pain. Listen at Pitchfork.

Listen if you like…: This is like Bon Iver with a healthy dose of M83. There aren’t too many artists out there that sound like this, to be honest. I’m struggling to come up with comparisons. Which, in this case, is a very good thing.

masysaHow’s the album?: It’s an EP, and, well, so-so. None of the rest of the tracks are as powerful as this one. “Why” packs a punch, but maybe Arseneault is saving his best shots for the proper LP.

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