Australian trio Kaonashi is the creative outlet for singer-songwriter Timothy Clay. Joined by multi-instrumentalists Thomas Mousley and Christopher Nash, Timothy has led the band in various forms for over four years. In August 2016, Kaonashi released their self-titled debut EP Kaonashi, a four-track record demonstrating the band’s talent and potential.
The album begins with a lone drum set in “This Is Not An Exit.” Shortly after, polished guitars and bass enter the soundscape in a melodic, memorable chord progression. Acoustic guitar strumming contrasts with the electric guitars throughout the track, and Timothy’s vocals, raspy yet tuneful and crisp, carry the energy of the song through verses and choruses alike.
“We Owe You Nothing” follows with a slightly more ominous aura. Electronic percussion and clear bells are layered on top of guitar strumming, singing and ethereal synthesizer sounds before the ballad transitions to a fuller sound in the latter half of the song. A guitar solo dominates the song structure, accompanied by equally dynamic vocals and pounding percussion, albeit in a highly melodious style.
The energy of the record becomes more subdued in “Scialytic; Dispelling Shadows” with swelling synthesizers and lush piano surrounding echoing vocals. Minimal percussion adds a subtle facet to the repetitive song, adding variety to what could otherwise become tedious. This song successfully shows the mellow side of Kaonashi and brings out the emotive qualities of the band.
The album ends with “Atlas” as Kaonashi returns to their progressive alternative rock roots. A wide, full sound all but overwhelms the listener as unfettered vocals and dynamic instrumentation drive the song through a solid four minutes of relentless rock. Overall, Kaonashi EP is a high quality, masterful work of art that defies genre boundaries and breaks molds and expectations. In only four songs, Kaonashi has done what many bands have failed to do in the same number of records.
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