Sometimes there is that small idea or a desire popping up and refusing to leave. You’ll either ignore it and go on with the day, or you give in to the desire and suddenly find yourself on a whole new path. For Mahto it was the desire to learn how to play piano. And look where he is now – the Johnson City-based artist has a band full of friends and a new EP under his belt!
The EP, titled “The Buzzard” is a cozy and homey record home to 7 songs with the total runtime of 20 minutes. Sporting a strong DIY feel, there’s a slight roughness around the edges and a heartwarming quiver in his singing voice. The smoky atmosphere features a slew of different instruments, ranging from the centerpiece piano to brass and strings, all brought together to create a down-to-earth experience with a therapeutic slow feel to it. Finding its strength in simplicity and measured timings, “The Buzzard” is an introspective and soft release speaking of mundane things through an endearing lens.
“As far as back story goes it really come down to me wanting to learn piano. I bought one right before to planet shut down. I work in a tobacco store/ deli and we have a drive through so we continued to operate that way. Most days I would go to work, come home and spend some time with my wife, Beka, and then go out to my studio to fiddle with the piano. Eventually I started coming up with my own songs. Often I’d start the recordings on my phone with drum machines and then later move the projects to my computer and record real drums or guitars or upright bass or whatever. I have a pretty good instrument collection and wanted to include some of the less common stuff like the singing saw or trombone. So yeah I pretty much just tinkered till I thought it was ready and that’s what you hear now. I had a couple buddies help me on a few tracks. Sam Love did the percussion on Samba19 and Travis Welch played guitar on The Buzzard plus he and Craig Perry did back up vocals. Everything else was me though. I was really into the idea of doing every step in the process. Writing the song, performing the parts, recording, mixing, mastering, and release it. It’s also my first project to be pressed to vinyl. Which just arrived in the mail the other day. Of course the cherry on top is the cover that was painted by my friend, Tom Root. He is and amazing painter who truly understands anatomy and light better than anyone I’ve ever met.”Mahto
The album arrives like a creature from the ether with whooshing sounds before settling in for the chillest instrumental performance featuring a smooth trombone. Once the vocals join in, the mood is immediately lifted up by the soft swaying melodies. The stage is then given to stories told by Mahto in his unbeatably simple and adorable way. Be it the rather grim “Systemic”, the looping anxiousness in “Avoiding a Fever” or the friendly push in “You Two Should Hang Out”, the story is straight-forward, lining up thoughts on the themes with no excess filtering or hiding behind metaphors. The title song also becomes the perfect closer, featuring a charming electric guitar solo and a vibrant atmosphere and leaving a fresh memory of something really sweet.
“The Buzzard” is also available as a 12” record on his Bandcamp, a classic black beauty housed in the sleeve showcasing the masterfully done painting in its full vibrancy.
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This coverage was created via MusoSoup #Sustainablecurator