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Editors’ Notes

Mas Ysa—the namesake of Thomas Arsenault, a longtime Brooklyn-based artist from Montreal—comes alive on this nine-song EP, with ambient pieces that stretch an icy feeling over analog synths and field recordings and lyrical tunes that veer from pulsing, M83-like synth-pop to stolid Peter Gabriel zen poems. Having spent much of his creative time acting as the heart of the 285 Kent and Glasslands scene—at the studio that’s been home to Cass McCombs and for his own visions—Arsenault is that rare studio rat who seems equally at home on a public stage, where his natural abilities are obvious from the first few notes. The somber, churchlike serenity of “Years” and the brooding but sublime melodicism of “Shame” prove that when he has the words, he has the voice to deliver them. “Why” ventures into more agitated territory, while “Life Way Up From” uses synthetic orchestration and multitracked voices for convincing results. If his continued works build from here, Mas Ysa will have one of the most respected names in underground music, if he doesn't already. 

Customer Reviews

this is it

the future's sounding good.
here come the new jets.

For a debut EP this is remarkable

Had preordered this after hearing/seeing Why and Years get so much praise on pitchfork. The instrumentals are incredibly pretty, the more traditional pop songs are really powerful and the ‘ballads’ for lack of a better word are really ‘fragile’…really impressed.


Purchased after seeing him live and being blown away. These songs are really beautiful and a fantastic start. I'll definitely be watching to see what he comes out with next.

Worth, Mas Ysa
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Customer Ratings