See the Forest, See the Trees
Original release: May 14, 2013 (self-released)
Re-release: July 16, 2014 (Highwire Records)
1. Pieces of My Map (6:14)
2. To the Manner Born (4:45)
3. Tar Baby (3:23)
4. Part I: Rabbiting Fox (4:20)
5. Part II: Pitch Thick (4:02)
6. Disposition (3:59)
Kazyak takes us into the thick of the woods in their premiere of “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.
The band’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 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 and Gretel-like breadcrumbs to find a way home. “disturbing the forest / took a while to decide / what type of failure I want to be / left with pieces of my map”. This central lyric spins around the song’s harmonizing chorus 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.