Mas Ysa – Worth EP


The two singles leading up to Mas Ysa’s debut EP Worth showed two completely different sides of the former Brooklynite now-upstate-New Yorker’s aesthetic. On one hand, there was the dynamic, roller-coaster ride of “Why” (that made this site’s best of 2013 list), propelled by Arsenault’s anxious vocals and jam-packed production. “Years” on the other hand was an atmospheric lullaby comprised of simple yet beautiful textures. By now it should be clear that any easy labeling of Arsenault music is rather futile. And while some might find it tempting to carelessly file him next to names like M83 or Passion Pit, it serves little or no purpose. When a big chunk of mediocre “electronic indie” acts are often referenced sharing similarities with either of these acts (something we’ve also been guilty of in the past), putting Mas Ysa in the same context does him more harm than gain. In interviews he has talked about being influenced by the Brazilian club scene and North American rock bands like Neutral Milk Hotel and Modest Mouse. If you can put your head around this and form a sensible picture, then Worth works in fact as a rather tenable consolidation. Granted, half of its track are no more than instrumental passages that add little to the overall sensation, but when as emotionally charged as on “Why” and “Shame”, or as atmospheric as on “Years” and “Life Way Up From”, it’s easy to see why Mas Ysa is the future hope of electronic pop music. And if there is something the genre needs is revitalization. Worth could’ve been adjusted down to 4-5 tracks, but even with that in mind, it’s a commanding start that gives promise of something spectacular down the road. Worth is out now via Downtown Records.

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