The band Ensyn grew out of a parting of the ways for three of the band members who left The Riverside Coalition to start a project going in a slightly different direction. Band members Drew Kellum, Iris Kolodji and Erik Schee added upright bass player Matt McIntrye to round out Ensyn. The result of this foursome is the self-titled album Ensyn released in August.
The five-track album tells a story that seems autobiographical for these four members of the University of Minnesota School of Music students. The tracks, which are numbered and not titled, follow the main character through the trials and tribulations of being pressured, students and newly in love. The story is pretty easy to relate to for most college-aged students as this is a time for exploring and finding your way.
The first track is slower to start but dives deep into the story. It has a folk feel to it with a nod to the band's other influences that make it very much an easy listening piece. You catch a bit of a jazz feel at times as well; this type of piece would be well suited for a live performance in a smaller venue. While I enjoyed the vocals and felt almost soothed by them, the addition of some ill-placed chimes broke up the flow of the music.
The second track continues the story of academic struggles as well as the romantic unrest. The story told by the lyrics and the feeling behind the vocals made this track a nice continuation and easy to identify with. This song moved a bit faster than the first, and would possibly stand alone as a song that would be pretty easy to sing along to.
"III" elegantly combines vibraphone into the mix of guitar, upright bass, drums and vocals. The song has a soothing, serene vibe that is easy to enjoy. "V" is the longest song at five plus minutes and an exceptional way to end the album. There are some notable vocal harmonies on this song.
The lyrical story of the album left me wanting to hear more from the group and see where this story ends up. The band is currently on hiatus as their lead singer Kolodji teaches abroad. I suspect this experience will lend itself to the next installment of the story. It seems like a logical continuation of this journey through college and young adulthood.
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