Published Jul 10, 2018The music of AHI — a Brampton, ON-born singer-songwriter who splits his time between Toronto and Nashville — shines with positivity. The optimism of his debut, We Made It Through the Wreckage, even caught the attention of NPR's Bob Boilen, who invited AHI to play a Tiny Desk Concert.
On AHI's sophomore record, In Our Time, this positivity is overflowing. It's there right from the start when AHI proclaims, "I've been told I'm worthless" but quickly adds, "so much that it gave me purpose." Even when there is struggle, there is hope too.
Throughout, AHI links this hopefulness to home. No matter how unstable life feels, AHI finds comfort in home, which is both a person and a place. On "Five Butterflies," a standout track full of love, AHI reflects on his journey to familial bliss. Likewise, "Made It Home" is a sigh of relief after a long journey, and on "In Our Time," the world around him crumbles, but AHI feels safe with the one he loves.
On both of his records, AHI's vocal performance is captivating. His voice is hoarse, but not weary — gravelly and warm. On In Our Time, AHI is nestled into a familiar folk-pop landscape, but because his voice is distinctive, a soundscape that would otherwise feel tiresome is less so. "Straight Ahead" and "We Want Enough" are both radio-friendly tracks complete with rounds of "woahs" but neither song places all of its weight on this catchy hook. Instead it feels like a strategic move so you remember the words of support AHI gives you.
It's easy to be a pessimist with the world the way it is and so the fierce optimism of AHI's In Our Time is heartening and a treat to listen to. (Independent)