Processed With Darkroom Processed with VSCO with acg preset

Review: Layzi – S/T

Carissa Myre has had quite the productive year with her Layzi output—so it was foretold by this very publication. The effort has clearly paid (and will continue to pay) dividends; Layzi’s self-titled EP is the perfect example of an artist finding her sound and presenting a neat and cohesive package of songs, homing in on a dreamy mixture of reverb and buzzy riffs that pink-blue sunsets are made for. 

The EP opens with “Sit at Home,” a track so nice, she recorded it twice. Styled “sit at home” in its previous life, the 2020 version sheds the original’s lo-fi sensibility for dense and layered melodies. Everything hits just right in this new form, especially Layzi’s soft, measured vocals, which suggest a sense of elevated confidence. “Sit at Home” is both tranquil and infectious and kicks off an aural novella about a love that’s drifting farther and farther away.

“Different,” evokes the girl group pop of the past while maintaining Layzi’s signature dreamscape textures. Myre continues to demonstrate her gift for driving existing pieces to their fullest potential. The surfy pluck of the guitar leads you through another entry in Layzi’s lyrical diary—this is a story of giddy, exuberant love that pivots to jaded exasperation, but you might not recognize it thanks to the deceptively lively rhythm and bright vocals. The vibe makes the refrain of “Thought this time was different, you’re the same” just a little more cutting. 

Third track “Is It Gonna Change” is a sonic hypnotic swirl, with the real showpiece of the song being Myre’s instrumental work. The guitars reverberate in your ear and act as the weight that anchor the airy vocals. Myre’s voice and ghostly harmonies lull you to the outro guitar and then closing track, the appropriately titled “Counting Sheep.” The guitar work is fuzzier, and vocals are louder, acting as counterpart and follow up to the previous song. Perhaps the most atmospheric of the songs on the EP, “Counting Sheep” is designed to make you ache with longing; when Myre sings, “I don’t count sheep, I count the reasons you don’t want me, over and back where you lay your head,” she leads you to a hazy resolution. 

Layzi knows how to keep you hanging on every ambient ellipses and make you hit repeat on tracks just as soon as they’re through. Heck, do yourself a favor and keep the entire EP on repeat and hope that Layzi treats us to even more new tunes soon.

-Caitlin Malcuit

Featured photo by Devin Pinkham