Jo Atto is an eighteen year old who recently released a five-song EP entitled Glass Years. Atto claims to use traditional West African rhythms but his music doesn’t sound anything like Paul Simon or Vampire Weekend even though it is guitar based.
Atto displays a lot of talent on Glass Years in both his sense of traditional songwriting and the willingness to experiment. There is a lot to appreciate here. He has a good, aesthetically pleasing voice while getting quite creative with the music.
The thing holding back Glass Years isn’t the songwriting or the delivery but the recording quality. In fact the problem arises on a number of songs and is quite specific. There are simply too many high frequencies in some of these songs, which could have been shaved off with a low pass filter. If for no other reason recordings with this issue are hard to listen to because when you crank them, they often leave your ears ringing.
The album opens with “Small Sun” and I was immediately impressed by the inventive timing and cascading melodies. It’s obvious that Atto has some skill on the guitar and I thought the juxtaposition between the guitar pattern and the vocal melody was very engaging. “Sit & Think” is another success, which introduces complex rhythms while implementing a catchy vocal melody. Aside from the guitar Atto incorporates what sounds like a flute. Atto sings with certainty, “It will all make sense.”
“What Grows” contains what sounds like a sample of Jim Morrison while “Unclear Light” has an undercurrent of kinetic energy. The lyrics on “Unclear Light” are some of the best. He sings, “And now you find / Beneath the lies / Is unclear orange nonsense / Scribbled there / Scrawled so bare / Symbols written without context / A masterpiece to behold.”He closes with “Kill Us All” which is free of percussive elements.
Glass Years is most likely just the beginning of better things to come for Atto. He built a solid foundation with this EP and I hope to hear more soon.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook