Mas Ysa (pronounced MAAS ee-sa), real name Thomas Arsenault, has premiered the self-directed/edited video for his debut single “Why.” Produced by Natalia Leite (TV On The Radio), the clip was shot in Arsenault’s current home of Woodstock, NY, and features an abstract relationship being hashed-out in a dark ice hockey rink.
Rather than your usual straightforward single, Arsenault introduces a full-fledged artistic world with Worth – a flowing 27-minute survey EP that demonstrates his unique penchant for both composition and production. The effort includes the Best New Track'd propulsive psychedelia of "Why," as well as the heart-tasering follow-up banger "Shame."
Worth also brings Arsenault's talents as a balladeer to the forefront on "Years" and "Life Way Up From" – both haunting, glacial odes to fear, loss and being on the run.
The EP is wound together through a series of ambient transitions that use analog synthesis, field recordings, wind and icy drones to connect the dots.
In recent years, the nomadic Arsenault has been a centerpiece of the Kent Avenue scene in Brooklyn, occupying a sprawling loft complex connected to the underground venues 285 Kent and Glasslands. There, he built a studio that yielded records by everyone from Cass McCombs to Laurel Halo, getting out of bed in the dead of night to write songs and record sonic fragments. During the day, Arsenault has explored the other side of modern composition by collaborating with Rashaun Mitchell of the storied Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Already buzzing in New York City for his intensely physical and cathartic live performances, Mas Ysa has already opened shows for Purity Ring, Delorean and RZA in addition to recent dates with Deerhunter and Marnie Stern.