Thursday, August 31, 2017

Umi: Dynamic instrumental rock band from Minnesota

So ever since seeing this local instrumental rock band open for The Reign of Kindo (Jason Richardson) on Sunday, and picking up the Flash Drive they had available with all 3 of the releases they have that are on their bandcamp page which are embedded below (the 2nd one, Tiny, Little Light which is free to download by the way).

I have been checking these studio recordings the last few days, and have in some ways been blown away.

The use of dynamics and intricate instrumentation and production is very clear.

Their music is bright, energetic, epic, and even somewhat diverse. Sometimes slow, sometimes moody, other times technical. The contrast and interplay of the guitars and drums really works well. And the piano, which I suppose may be 1 of the biggest things that makes them stand out from many of the instrumental rock bands out there.

There's at least 1 or 2 bands I'm still not remembering who they reminded me of, with their use of piano with post-rock/jazz etc. But I guess just to make a couple of comparisons.

1 being the early Tangled Thoughts of Leaving aka the Tiny Fragments EP especially. The subtle at times, yet goose-bump worth piano melodies that create such wonderful mood and atmosphere is present.

The other I want to say some of the earlier God is an Astronaut, I recall having some similar kinds of moments to the music from Umi.

But also someone like Pat Metheny of course (or more recently, The Super Pilots/Mike Linden), largely per the happy and bright tone, and even jazzy element.

I need to work my way through their stuff more to fully grasp how great this band is, but at a minimum, I think they are the both the best new band from Minnesota I've discovered since at least Words for Penga in 2015? and also maybe more so, the best instrumental/post band I a may attach myself to since Nordic Giants back in 2014.

I wonder if they could catch on the way I wondered about Brice Plays Drums or Lehto and Wright. Their music is both THAT GOOD and also it seems THAT ACCESSIBLE.

But, I also feel/felt the same way about the great Minnesota local band NOMIA. dice really. If they remain a local treasure in MN, I can't really complain. But their music does seem appealing enough many may be sleeping on it.

oh, 1 other band who I wonder if they know or could play a show with: Put Down the Muffin. Instrumental proggy jazz from Minnesota would seem a group whose audience could enjoy.

World of Color [EP]
 rel August 27, 2017

1. Droplet 04:30
2. In The Fog 05:58
3. World of Color 03:08
4. Ruin 06:00
5. Voyage 05:49

Tiny, Little Light [EP]
rel May 16, 2016

1. Warmth 01:57
2. After Warmth (ft. Jakub ┼╗ytecki) 05:02
3. Violet (ft. Plini) 06:47
4. Sunshine 09:55

rel August 24, 2015

1. Umi 06:32
2. Broken Ice 03:01
3. Oshun 04:15
4. Ika-Roa 02:16
5. Colorless (feat. Jared Waln) 04:46
6. Glass Fish (feat. Dustin Korth of By The Thousands) 06:05
7. Big Wave 03:04
8. Leaf Boat 04:30
9. Flow 03:35
10. Islet 02:16
11. Torrential 05:58