boy wonder Balances Garage Rock Antics and Emotional Nuance on 'Kinda Blue Too'
Published Jun 03, 2021Not to be confused with Drake's producer, boy wonder is Toronto-based filmmaker/musician Ryan Faist. His debut album, Kinda Blue Too, tells quirky stories of wanting friends and to feel loved while the inevitable end of the world nears.
Not to ignore his visual side, each song comes with an accompanying 16mm film clip for each song in a manner similar to Andy Warhol's Screen Tests featuring different subjects in a variety of environments. From a small bearded man dancing down the street on "white shoe dance" to a pink-haired tattooed fella riding out of a car's sunroof on "daddy," Faist paints 10 different pictures of these characters that he has met throughout the city. He nods to Toronto faves like Kensington Market and Dufferin Mall in a discreet and playful manner.
Faist does not take himself — or life itself, for that matter — too seriously. Kinda Blue Too comes with no real structure and feels very homemade, fulfilling its garage-rock premise. Each track is comprised of simple chords and colourful lyrics. Faist pokes fun and proclaims that "love ain't true" on "r u my girl?" before later stating "I want love for everyone" on "baby, how do i feel?" in his endearingly reverbed, twangy voice.
He makes room for vulnerability on the album's title track, when the antics slow down and he admits that the world is a scary and beautiful place all at the same time. But it's not serious for too long — Faist turns poetry back into chaos right on cue for the second half of the album, filled with dusty guitars and yowling vocals. He uses dark humour to cover up what he is really thinking about, like on "color in the streets" when he proposes that "Maybe we all just need to lose our minds." It come full circle at the end of the album for tender closer "kinda blue ii," a sequel to the title track. The video — the only one featuring Faist — finds him standing alone in a field, singing to himself, emphasizing his desire for connection.
There's no filler or fluff. In and out, short and sweet, capping off the whole record at a mere 28 minutes. It's about sending strangers scribbled letters in the mail inviting them over for dinner, or being obnoxiously loud at night with your friends. It's an album about seeing the good in the world while also realizing that it's alright to be sad about things at the same time. (Rainbow Land)