Most of the songs on this album dripped out the musical faucet, single by single, throughout the last few years from Káryyn’s soundcloud page. When shit’s released this way, it comes with a fear that their final collection will be a clusterfucked hodgepodge of moods, ideas, and debris. Like building a house out of discarded scraps, there’s a fear that the foundation is as tenuous as soup skin. But that’s not the case with Káryyn. She’s not the kind of artist where you worry about intent.
Káryyn had plenty of opportunities to make a living as a musician. Many people would gladly sell their souls for this chance. But Káryyn denied that horny red-dicked motherfucker twice. Once, in her teens, she wrote Arabic-inspired folk tunes that got the attention of a record label. She peaced out when they told her to be like the Beatles. Then again, at 16, she quit high school and became tutored by the famed and bizarre electronic composer Pauline Oliveros. Káryyn made music by fucking up electronics hard and getting hella loud. Labels loved it. It’s not often someone meets the devil at the crossroads and flips him the bird twice. Now, why would an aspiring musician do this? Integrity, motherfucker. I apologize if you’re deep in the music biz, I know this word is new to you. You see, instead of just releasing shit that was half decent, Káryyn asked herself what kind of artist, and person, she wanted to be. Would you rather be another rehashed Beatle, an angry fuck, or actually inspire some people? This is how an album sounds when you got the backbone to pick the latter.
The first song on this motherfucker triggered my “fuck this” reflex. I mistook its stripped-down ease for a lack of depth. But as I let this shit play on, when I really took in this motherfucker, I saw its depth of feeling, grief, and sorrow. This album is closely linked with Káryyn’s family and its horrific history of the Armenian genocide that, unfortunately, many look over and avoid. With a topic this fucking heavy, you’d expect this shit to be depressing as fuck. But, somehow, Káryyn turned this history and the lessons learned from it into something beautiful. Instead of screaming into an unrelenting and chaotic void, Káryyn learned to sing and inspire. This torn down, honest, and reflective album has more depth than the roots of an oak tree. It’s a minimal powerhouse that ain’t got shit to prove.