There is little to no information out there on Ian Kashani. His website contains no bio and his digital imprint on the Internet is scarce. I went into listening to his recent self-titled release Ian Kashani with no idea what to expect and by the end I was a certified fan of his music. His music is hard to pinpoint but is founded within folk and rock. The songwriting is solid throughout and some of the songs are exceptional.
A majority of the album revolves around his acoustic guitar and vocals but he mixes it up enough to create a diverse, varied experience. Kashian knows how to pace his album and obviously took time to think about the sequential order of the songs.
Kashani is also a gifted lyricist who avoids typical clichés and instead implements a refreshing variety of puns, metaphors and straightforward narrative. Topics like death, innocence and betrayal are some of the topics that Kashani talks about. He sometimes comes off as cynical but I for one found his outlook an interesting deviation from the plethora of optimists.
The opener “If You Touch” is upbeat sounding but the lyrical implication could be far darker. He sings, “Way back in school every day I wanted to die and the only thing that I wanted more than suicide was you You see, you came for me when I was weak once there was silence, then I could speak cause if you touch if you touch a child, it dies.” The juxtaposition is striking and almost embarrassing that you were grooving to the music once you dig into the lyrics.
“Betrayed” is just as dark but also incredibly catchy. Kashani's lyrics imply more thoughts about suicide as he sings, “Did they think I could handle this world by myself? I was betrayed by the ones that I love.” The third track “Prague” is a rocker that contains some great guitar playing. I as a big fan of the untraditional scales he plays and the punk rock vibe was an unexpected but rewarding change.
“Someday” was a highlight that tips its hat to 1950’s pop. Kashani combines clean guitars, light drums and bass into a delight arrangement of sound. He closes with the saddest, solemn track on the album entitled “Writing A Letter.” The song comes off more as plea. It is almost as of if his declaration is in need of some answers back. He sings, “If it’s over just tell me If you hate me then I'm sorry Is it that you're dead am I just a fool for not knowing please I'm lonely.”
Overall, this album was well written, sometimes powerful but it also has a time and place. It’s probably not a album you need to play on repeat but I think it’s most effective when listened to sparingly at appropriate times.
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