Agathya Visveswaran, aka “Agaaze," is a twenty-year-old multi-instrumentalist artist and producer from Rochester, New York. Last year Pitch Perfect reviewed A Portal Inside and the artist is now back with For You.
It’s a seven-song album a little over thirty minutes long. The album combines a number of different genres like electro-pop, hip-hop and psych-rock. It’s also a concept album. Agaaze mentions "For You follows the story of a young protagonist, who is enveloped by a desire to live in a dreamland created by his own mind, but eventually learns to accept the joy of the present moment. Each song represents its own theme, and the project is presented as a retro/futuristic TV show.”
The album gets going with “The Door” which begins with sub bass synths, phaser infused white noise and other atmospheric elements. A beat arrives along with somewhat subdued vocals. There’s a meditative stillness to the song but things start to morph and evolve. Serene sounding classical guitar fades in and then heavy thick drums and buzzing bass synth are added. Tame Impala came to mind when this groove arrived. Soon after we get a blaring guitar solo. This was an interesting and bold song to open with. It avoids a typical hook and is mostly instrumental.
“Lately” fades in with some ambient and connects with airy synths and a deep and robust rhythm section. The groove is strong and the electro and funk flavor made this a fun song. There are a couple breakdowns which were well done.
“I Don’t Got Time for This Today” is next and the energy here felt the most uplifting so far. The grooves are certainly slick and while not as varied as an artist like Aphex Twin the music has a similar cerebral quality. The song introduces some slick lead guitar.
“Cinnamon Paradise” felt like the centerpiece. The six-plus-minute song starts with a filtered urban sounding beat. Once the vocals come in the music expands. I loved the bass which sounded organic. In fact I was getting Thundercat vibes on this song. I would also say this was the catchiest song on the album in terms of the vocal melodies. The song is also dynamic and explores a lot of different terrain with colors and tones.
“Still Water” is a catchy one and the most rock based sounding song on the album while “Are You Real?” has more of a dark hip-hop flavor. “You and Me” was a fantastic closer. I loved the juxtaposition of the instrumental aspects. The vocals were also quite joyous and confident sounding. It sounded like the most optimistic breakup song I’ve ever heard.
The young talent will certainly gain some attention with this release. It’s a cohesive and genre bending experience that I think will resonate with people. Highly recommended.
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