For obvious reasons, too few debut EPs take you on a tour of the world. Whether it be due to the slight running time or the understandably tentative forays of an emerging artist, many refuse to approach the extended play through a widescreen lens. The same can’t be said of sir Was, however. Not one to be restricted by time constraints nor the lack of scope that blights so many releases, Says Hi treads a wonderfully ambitious path from its outset, snatching fragments from Joel Wästberg’s jazz roots and affirming experiences in Gothenburg, Durban, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Presented with such a unique project, it’s bewildering to learn that it took him fifteen years to pluck up the courage to even release it. And the EP’s globetrotting snapshots are no more prevalent than in its skittish, zigzagging rhythms; ‘Near Here’ is particularly compelling thanks to a hypnotic percussion arrangement that loops in mesmerising fashion. It’s sumptuous Scandi-pop but not as we know it, I tell myself as the bonkers bagpipe opening of ‘A Minor Life’ hums and bubbles into earshot, giving way to ‘Falcon’ and the record’s closest stab at a breakout single. Nevertheless, not much here grabs on first listen. If anything, repeats are needed to digest the scale of what Wästberg is attempting to meld together. As introductions go, it’s more hesitant handshake than warm embrace but that’s okay – against all the odds, sir Was’ indecision makes for some spectacular tunes. Let’s not wait another fifteen years.
Buy: sir Was – Says Hi