Music by VICE

Oh Man, Listen to Mas Ysa's "Look Up" and Collapse into a Puddle or Something

In Mas Ysa's hands, every emotion feels titanic, and he's got a bassline and a warbly scream to drive the point home.

by Kyle Kramer
Mar 23 2015, 6:33pm

Photo by Harry Gassel, courtesy of Mas Ysa

Last year, the Brooklyn-based experimental electronic act Mas Ysa released a stellar EP called Worth that didn't get nearly as much attention as it deserved, in part, I imagine, due to the fact that it only had two actual, distinct songs (no shots to all the other songs, which are great but not gripping in quite the same pop sense). Those songs—"Why" and "Shame"—were mesmerizing, though, capturing the enormity of minor betrayal, self-doubt, and their associated emotional collapses. In Mas Ysa's hands, every emotion feels titanic, and he's got a bassline and a warbly scream to drive the point home.

He's back with a new song called "Look Up," his first new release since Worth, which reworks some of the elements of that EP's track "Yes." Like "Why" and "Shame," it feels instantly devastating, his voice fraying as he offers up a barely intelligible narrative that seems to touch on religion and forgiveness (what I hear: "I want to know what you've done" and "the grace that you've given"). The whole thing dissolves into a rhapsodic twirl of West African-tinged guitar and propulsive drum machines crashing forward, with a repeated vocal hook that sounds like "don't leave your friend" bubbling up underneath. Like previous Mas Ysa songs, I'm not totally sure what to make of it other than to find myself completely overwhelmed and stunned and wanting to listen to it over and over again. Check it out below, along with Mas Ysa's tour dates this spring with Young Fathers.

Mas Ysa Tour Dates:

4/09/2015 Boston, MA at Great Scott
4/10/2015 Brooklyn, NY at Music Hall of Williamsburg
4/11/2015 Philadelphia, PA at Boot & Saddle
4/12/2015 Washington, DC at Rock and Roll Hotel
4/14/2015 Raleigh, NC at Kings
4/15/2015 Atlanta, GA at Masquerade
4/16/2015 New Orleans, LA at Republic
4/17/2015 Houston, TX at Fitzgeralds
4/18/2015 Dallas, TX at Trees
4/19/2015 Austin, TX at The Parish
4/21/2015 Phoenix, AZ at Pub Rock
4/22/2015 San Diego, CA at The Casbah
4/24/2015 Los Angeles, CA at The Echo
4/25/2015 San Francisco, CA at The Independent
4/29/2015 Portland, OR at Holocene
4/30/2015 Vancouver, BC at Fortune
5/01/2015 Victoria, BC at Distrikt
5/02/2015 Seattle, WA at Neumos
5/05/2015 Boise, ID at Neurolux
5/06/2015 Salt Lake City, UT at Urban Lounge
5/07/2015 Denver, CO at Larimer Lounge
5/08/2015 Lincoln, NE at Vega
5/09/2015 Minneapolis, MN at 7th Street Entry
5/10/2015 Chicago, IL at Lincoln Hall

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Mas Ysa
Look Up