The Young and the Restless: Mas Ysa

2.11.2014

By Mike Berlin

The Canadian musician (born Thomas Arsenault) shares the 'Worth' of his 'field recordings'

Photography by Therese + Joel
You wouldn’t know it at first listen, but the blowing wind on the ambient title track of Mas Ysa’s debut EP, Worth, is not just any wind: The 30-year-old Canadian musician (born Thomas Arsenault) recorded it at Tierra del Fuego, an archipelago at the southernmost tip of South America. The sound bite, culled from his extensive 15-year library of what he calls his “field recordings,” betrays his well-traveled past (he grew up in Montreal and São Paulo) and his encyclopedic aural tendencies. But despite having this vast personal trove at his fingertips, Arsenault keeps things restrained on Worth. Though its first single, “Why,” begins as a whispery lullaby before launching into a propulsive, synth-laden anthem of rejection, most of its songs unfold like brief, plaintive. “I like these smaller offerings, little things that blossom and go away,” Arsenault says. “I get catharsis out of writing the bangers and the ballads, but it’s also nice to have a cup of tea or a cough drop in the form of some soothing instrumental that I can play quietly.”

LISTEN TO: The Worth EP (out now)
FOR FANS OF: Animal Collective, Grizzly Bear, Oneohtrix Point Never

Tags: Music
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