Note : ++
Origine du Groupe : North America
Style : Electro Alternative
Sortie : 2010
It feels like Ishi came out of nowhere. The Dallas-based dance-pop band has vaulted to the top of the local music food chain, winning radio contests, legitimately vying for a spot at
Bonnaroo, and becoming a huge local concert draw – all seemingly overnight. But they’ve actually been honing their sound for a couple of years now, working over John Mudd’s folk songs with Brad
Dale’s programming, eventually creating what they call “electro-folk.” Their debut album Through the Trees shows the still-ripening fruits of those efforts.
“Don’t let go of who you are, you came too far” singer Mudd implores on the album’s first track, “Our Time,” doing his best The Sea and Cake impression. The band holds true to the sentiment,
seemingly committed to bringing in Mudd’s folk music to mate with their dance-y electronica, which for the first few songs just means that there’s some acoustic guitar in the mix.
Multi-instrumentalist Dale has said that he wanted to mash-up “Kraftwerk beats with folky harmonies,” and he could have easily mentioned early Depeche Mode and Postal Service as well, especially
on songs like “Exhale” and “New York Charm.”
While much of the music is ready for the dance floor, the folky influence tends to hold back the energy and tempos, making some tracks calmer and more contemplative. Perhaps they’re still too
afraid to go too far in one direction. But then, there are songs like “Come Closer” that are more interested in the lusty bedroom escapades after leaving the dance club.
The folk influence really takes over toward the end of the album, as the acoustic guitar comes more to the forefront and the beats retreat. In fact, “Through the Trees” feels like two different
albums: The first half is the Ishi you see live at the club, and the second half is music for the morning after. As it progresses, Through the Trees starts to sound more like David Bazan’s
Headphones project instead dance music, and they come closest to realizing a full blend of folk and electronica on the final few tracks, and move further away from a party-inducing dance group.
But, the album is actually more interesting as a result, if a little too inconsistent.
“Through the Trees” is a solid debut for a band on the rise, and it gives hints to the fuss surrounding their live shows. But, it’s not full representation of that band as their self-described
“electro-folk” materializes mostly as either “electro” or “folk.” When they figure out how to fully meld their two halves together, they’ll be dangerous. In the meantime, a solid debut is
Ishi hosts their album release party Friday at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio in Denton, with PVC Street Gang and White Mountain.
By Andy Odom
01 Our Time (4:24)
02 Come Closer (4:37)
03 Pastel Lights (4:20)
04 Exhale (3:57)
05 Shake Your Dandelion (4:48)
06 Join Us (6:09)
07 New York Charm (3:04)
08 All I Want (2:28)
09 Turn Away (4:02)
10 Through the Trees (3:15)
11 Make It (4:40)
12 Make Believe (4:09)