(photos courtesy of Colin Kopp)
Minneapolis band Kazyak is the indie craft vehicle of frontman, songwriter, guitarist Peter Frey who takes us into the thick of the woods in his premiere for, "Pieces of My Map". Having made the festival circuit rounds, the new album See the Forest, See the Trees finds the group stirring up a selection of rich, heartfelt string arrangements with electric guitars, violins, banjos and strummed percussion sentiments that stretch out like the urban forest branches that embrace downtown Minneapolis. Peter's approach to song construction is to utilize every breath and instrument as a foundational musical tree trunk for budding leaves, flowers and fruits to spring from with a searching spirit for life's lost fragments.
Frey makes up a compass of his own creation with the elaborate and lush array of stringed instruments. The album title encourages you to See the Forest, See the Trees, to survey the proverbial gestalt of all things for the details that comprises the sum of the dense grouped foliage. In the 6 minute plus outing of "Pieces", every guitar strum, every percussive drum machine tick reverberates like a naturally occurring counterpart. The electric guitar progressions move like the wave and way treetops sway in the wind, the banjo plunks can be heard like the trickling movement of a nearby brook, the drum machine's clinks move like steps over the underbrush, while a violin gives an inner glance of emotion and provides a choral comfort.
Further entertaining of the forest-for-the-trees perspective cliché; Frey lays out the pieces of the scattered map as littered Hansel & Gretel-like breadcrumbs to find a way home. "Just stood in the forest, took a while to decide what type of thing I want to be left with pieces of my map". This central lyric spins around the song's harmonizing "ohhs" where the moment's hesitation along a deciduous trail provides pause to think of which cartographical fragment will grant the best directional safe and sound passage. As the song closes, the stringed instruments emanate sunbeams of hope atop leaved canopies giving a certain guidance, assurance and granting a better understanding and observance of both the forest and the trees.
Kazyak's album See the Forest, See the Trees will be available May 14 from GroundUp Productions.