Mist and Mast

Mist and Mast

Mist and Mast

Mist and Mast

Self-Released

Rising from the remains of the California folk-pop outfit The Red Thread, Mist and Mast features Jason Lakis veering away from the more rural qualities of his former work and embracing a more ethereal edge. Ringing most of his guitar work in echo and reverb, Lakis skirts dream-pop territories, but keeps his songwriting in fairly sharp focus. Tracks like the opener “Turn Into the Turn” and “Green Eyes” come off like less intricately woven Shins’ songs. It’s an adequate aping, but it pales in comparison to the real thing. Numbers like “New Water” feel like a more appropriate direction for Lakis to head; it’s alternately soft and lilting, hard and driving. He throws in a disco beat, cascading guitar lines, a thick bass rhythm and ups the ante until it feels as though it’s on the brink of collapse. The same goes for the water-logged instrumental “Weathered,” it sinks beneath waves of reverb, but glorious keyboard melodies buoy the elliptical riffs in a sort of post-surf-rock brilliance. All told, Mist and Mast is an improvement over his work in The Red Thread, but it feels like Lakis still hasn’t fully hit his stride, but by moving thematically out into the ocean he’s definitely getting closer.

Mist and Mast: www.mistandmast.com

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