Friday, July 23, 2021

Gyats0 delivers a stunning, multilayered performance with ‘Joy’

Gyats0 is no stranger to diving deep into complex ideas surrounding human existence. 

The Portland, Oregon-based artist’s latest album, ‘Exoskeleton’, explores concepts of life, death, the self, and existence through the life cycle of a cicada. 

That being said, it comes as no surprise that one of the most standout tracks on the album, ‘Joy’, puts to music a complex and multifaceted feeling that is difficult to describe.

‘Joy’ exists in a delicate balance of worlds and emotions in both its music and subject matter. Speaking to Phork, Gyats0 says of the track, “‘Joy’ was intended to express the line between overwhelming sadness and irresistible euphoria. It’s that feeling where you start crying, and you don’t know why and all you can literally think in your head is that life is beautiful and terrible and overwhelming. It’s anxious.” 

Despite being such a complex and contradictory feeling, this sense of sadness, elation and anxiety comes through in ‘Joy’ in a way that is familiar and recognizable. Gyats0’s quietly haunting voice, reminiscent of Bon Iver, echoes over a soft, melancholic dream-pop instrumental. The track broadens into a more driving beat in the chorus, all while expertly walking the line between deep sadness and unfolding bliss.


While ‘Joy’ succeeds in delivering a complex musical performance centered around a multifaceted idea, its composition also contains layers of the unique style that has become Gyats0’s signature, particularly on ‘Exoskeleton’. The track opens with soft acoustic guitar before shimmery synths and electric guitar come in, creating an unexpectedly dream-pop colour. While the verses remain mellow, the chorus introduces new harmonies, a stronger sound, and a higher-energy trap-style beat, which provide a surprising contrast to the gentleness of the verses, all while remaining true to the overall feel of the track. By drawing on unexpected sounds and styles in his instrumentation, Gyats0 creates a further musical balancing act that works seamlessly.


Gyats0’s music is thought-provoking and refreshingly honest. His distinct sound and unique take on the world truly make him one to watch, and we cannot wait to see where his musical journey takes him. 


Bella DeSouza-Cook


Image: Exoskeleton Official Album Cover (PRESS)


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