A few weeks ago I was introduced to the talented multi-instrumentalist Tristan Nelson, also known as Three Day Monk. I deal with many review requests daily so I, unfortunately, do not remember all of them but Nelson stood out in my mind. With an Incubus meets Radiohead meets Ash meets America, Nelson’s sound is innovative, engaging and intriguing. Featured on Oak Radio, Amazing Radio US and Banks Radio, Three Day Monk is building a global following as an experimental artist. The latest addition to his discography is the EP Aki.
Described as a seasonal project (the second of four set for release throughout 2021), Aki is a four-track EP delving into the realm of depth and despair. I suppose this is winter considering the starkness and cruelty of the tracks. Inspired by a period of global uncertainty, the desperate sound touches on “recent events, personal afflictions and those that happen in our society”.
Using a plethora of instrumentation ranging from the organic guitar and piano in ‘I Wish You Were Dead’ and ‘Bowerbird’ to the cinematic synth-laden track ’17’, Three Day Monk showcases innovation and versatility as an artist. Traversing different melodies, songwriting, arrangement and texturing, Aki is a kaleidoscopic swirl of sound. The most intriguing single, I find, is the seven-minute-long ’17’. Just as the album is an interweaving of genres and styles, ’17’ is an EP in itself creating a soothing soundscape – yet, with a particular melancholy underlying the hazy melody.
Using a personal narrative with intimate lyricism, Three Day Monk adds robustness to Aki with the bluesy ‘Bowerbird’ as well as an ethereal ambience in ‘Misanthrope’s Vessel’. As with the different genres, Three Day Monk showcases his vocal flexibility with rich, warm tones in ‘Bowerbird’ to the soaring obscureness in ‘Misanthrope’s Vessel’. Listening to Aki is a haunting and spine-chilling experience with a lingering melancholy that is far too addictive for its own good.