REVIEW: Koji – Matters EP

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Artist: Koji
Album: Matters EP
Release date: November 12th, 2013

Matters is the most recent release from musician and activist, Andrew Koji Shikari. While this album was released just a few weeks ago, it was recorded with Will Yip at the legendary Studio 4 all the way back in August of 2011. These four songs are all stripped down acoustic songs akin to Koji’s early material which makes sense considering this is a very old recording.

“Hemlock” is the first song on the EP and the lyrics talk about changes and becoming a new person than you were in the past, hopefully for the better because you’ve had new experiences and know more than you did before. Koji has a lot of beautiful harmonies in this. Songs like this are what make me love Koji so much as a musician.

The follow up, “Like We Do,” is a song that was first released on Koji’s live album Spring Song Vol. I in 2010, so old fans may already familiar with this song. As always, Koji’s lyrical talent shines through. He sings about acceptance and realizing that, sometimes, there’s nothing you can do to change a situation and you always have to make the most of what you are given, live in the moment and keep moving forward because “time rolls on like we do.”

Next comes “Placeholders.” This song is a pretty heavy hearted song about a very serious relationship that fell apart. He’s trying to move on and stop always thinking of the past, but he can’t help it and maybe a part of him doesn’t want to move on. I sure hope he’s gotten better and moved on from their life that was “done and undone” in the years since he wrote this song.

The final song title track, “Matters (of the Heart and Mind),” encompasses the EP. Koji questions who decides the matters of the heart and mind, but ultimately decided he’d rather leave it up to mystery. The use of strings in this song is brilliant and gives it a lot of great dynamic contrast.

This is an EP I think all Koji fans will like, especially the old ones. If you like acoustic, indie, folk stuff, you’ll love Koji. (By Nathan Cornell)

For fans of: Bob Dylan, Into It. Over It., Allison Weiss, Bright Eyes

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