Ioish’s “What You Need For It” Impresses

By Deuce

Perhaps the most acute point about Ioish’s latest single, “What You Need For It”, which was released last month, is its deliberateness. It’s clear, early and often, that the band has definite ambitions with this tune—which it largely fulfills.

The cut itself is a musical menagerie of styles, sounds, and sonic symbols that seemingly meld everything from meditation music to jazz. The unified thread throughout most of this oeuvre is the drumming (laced up by Shantanu Sudarshan), who seemingly directs the other instruments the majority of the time. However, the paradox is completed by the fact that the cut’s most poignant moments are bereft of any rhythm whatsoever (including percussion).

Throw in the fact that you’re likely to hear just about anything but vocals on “What You Need”, and the deliberateness of its sheer musicality becomes undeniable.

Granted, the fellas put all this down while clocking in at over the five-minute marker here, so it’s apparent they know what they’re doing. The first minute or so is an exercise in a cross between a nightclub and yoga mat sessions as a surplus of bubbling, miniscule synths parade in, on, and around the listener’s ears.

Such a serenade stems from the stuff of Vaibhav Bhutani, who also doubles up on the guitar later on in the track. But, he’s truly going to town during the introduction, in which it’s easy to lose track of all space, time, and feeling while the electronic hypnosis is in effect.

It’s from this point on, however, that Sudarshan’s cue stick summoning takes over, somehow preceding the chord progression (which is matching that of Bhutani in the opening moments, and likely played by him in the later ones) of the bass and guitarists. The drumming is loud, yet somehow not quite overt, though it does mask the volume of the bass and some of the other instruments in parts.

Meredith Moore jumps in on the action on the horns, which elongate those chords and give them the color and feeling of mid-20th century sessions at New York City’s Village Vanguard. There may be a trace of acoustic guitar in there, but the electric ones swiftly ramrod their way to the forefront, stepping ever just behind Sudarshan, as the gang raises and drops the energy a couple of times before ending on a searing, soaring high.

It’s the sort of thing one remembers, and every bit as good a reason as is needed to cop the band’s forthcoming Long Player, Waves.

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