Montreal-native Mas Ysa has found himself moving around a lot. No, we’re not just talking about his tours opening for the likes of Deerhunter and Purity Ring – Thomas Arsenault’s passport can attest to a nomadic designation.
His interest in music began in San Paolo, Brazil, where he wrote electronic songs in high school and spent nights sneaking into hard-techno raves. For college, Arsenault moved to Ohio, eventually heading west to San Francisco before ultimately ending up (as most musical globe-trotting projects seem to) in Brooklyn.
While recording under the name Mas Ysa wasn’t Arsenault’s first effort to find a sound, it has been the most fruitful. A perfectionist, he spent a couple of years prior to Msa Ysa releasing digitally-filtered folk music under a different moniker: Ablehearts. Don’t expect to find it in your local record store, however – Arsenault never physically released copies of it (though it is online) because he wasn’t completely satisfied with his output… So, we guess it’s a safe assumption to say that what he’s doing as Mas Ysa is fantastic because it’s actually seeing the light of day.
It was an eviction from his Williamsburg abode and a relocation to Woodstock in early 2013 that would shape the project profoundly and lead to the recording of his debut EP (set for release in January 2014.) We’ve already gotten a preview of what’s to come with the release of Mas Ysa’s debut song, “Why.” It’s already picking up accolades – Pitchfork awarded it “Best New Track” and The FADER summarized it best: “When the track popped up out of the blue in September, it felt like the work of an artist whose sound had arrived fully minted.”
Hear from more Mas Ysa here.