Throughout the past year we have faced adversity unlike many of us have known. Moments of hope and optimism are followed by anger and frustration, and everything feels like a roller coaster that nobody wants to ride anymore. Although we are starting to see a light at the end of this tunnel, reaching it has been no easy accomplishment.
Perhaps the most daunting obstacle we now face is the giant cloud of animosity that lingers over parts of the international community. It will certainly be a tall order that will require us to summon all the power in our little voices to overcome. By looking around the world, we can become lions to greet the problem together.
If there is one overwhelming emotion captured in Harmonica Andromeda, it is curiosity. KSHMR employs a mosaic of unique sound characteristics and influences that have never been heard next to each other. The synesthesia is equally audial as it is visual. Curiosity is a good emotion to inspire since unfamiliarity is apparently a trait humans have difficulty coping with lately.
The album opens with title track, ‘Harmonica Andromeda’. A ringmaster introduces the show and sets the exotic tone for the album. Think of it like a harder, better, faster, stronger version of the Piano Fantasia song, except with more eloquence and quirky sophistication.
The next two songs, ‘Midnight Lion Walk’ and ‘Blood In The Water’ take the listener on a mythical journey. There are tempo and rhythm changes, and everything blends wonderfully. Every moment of these songs will keep you guessing. It sounds like KSHMR, but we’ve never heard how he translates his sound across genres like this before.
The next four songs, ‘The World We Left Behind’, ‘Gypsy Waltz’, ‘Mystical Beginning’, and ‘Around The World’ set a different tone. Like Meowth said in the Pokémon movie, “We have a lot in common. Maybe if we started looking at what’s the same, instead of always looking at what’s different, well, who knows.” These songs push the spirit of togetherness and finding similarities through common goals and interests. Suddenly we’re not so different.
The next songs ‘Storm’, ‘Song of War’, and ‘Peace’ have much darker and dreadful feelings. Something big is coming, and standing up to it will test our might. This section of the album signals violence and ugliness. By the end of the second interlude, you find yourself feeling like the worst has passed you, but at what cost?
‘I Will Be A Lion’, ‘Wings’ and ‘The Little Voice’ are the sun shining through the storm to clear the skies for peace to prevail. They inspire curiosity and wonder. We don’t know what’s ahead, but we know it’s better than going back. If it seems scary, we face the challenges together. These songs are the harmonious world that we all aspire to preserve and stand up for.
And then there’s ‘Paula’. In a beautiful ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ esque manner, KSHMR sings an ode to his Mom. It comes from the heart, and it’s a perfect way to top off what is undoubtedly KSHMR’s most significantly inspiring body of work to date.
To summarize, KSHMR inspires our curiosity about the world. He puts diversity into his music and shows us that, although we are sometimes not perfect, the good parts of our world are worth protecting. Thank you for this album, KSHMR.