I think we are safe to assume that the combination of math rock tapping and female blues vocals is somewhat uncharted territory. Well, until now of course, for this is being actively led by Naia Izumi, who more or less exploded onto the US scene this year with her Soft Spoken Woman EP in January. And now, less than three months later, Izumi returns with a second EP Never Let Them Tame You.
Izumi’s sophomore slightly strips away some of the blues and soul that was pertinent to Soft Spoken Woman, and instead veers towards more complex arrangements. Naia’s sultry vocals provide a fresh overlay to the familiar math rock tap-tap-tapping we are all accustomed to, which provides an interesting juxaposition between the frenetic nature of her guitar phrases, and the soft and sustained delivery of her vocal style. Perhaps the finest example is the EP’s closer ‘Hush’, and the way that Izumi manages the complexity of this track in a live setting has to be seen to be believed.
In a time where the guitar tapping technique is becoming a little saturated, Naia Izumi’s Never Let Them Tame You provides listener’s new and innovative angle, merging math rock with blues and soul. It’s a cool and seductive ride.
Math rock, soul, blues, ambient, tappity-tap, jazz, vocals