Papi Shiitake honestly couldn’t have picked a more unconventional time to debut his unconventional sound than 2020, but for artists who are determined to create and express themselves on their own schedule, there’s really no better moment than the present to act. In Shiitake’s new single “Enjoy the View” and the song’s accompanying music video, we get a full-color peek at his sound and the intricacies within his lyrical style, and while he isn’t any easier to categorize than many of his hybrid brethren in the American underground right now, I wouldn’t say he’s indistinguishable from the masses by any critical measurement.
The interplay between the vocal and the strings in this track is definitely one of the most important elements shaping the energy behind the lyrics, and while most of the mood revolves around the tonality of our man’s voice, there are instances in which he hands the power over to the background instrumentation and lets postmodern trappings take over the big picture. His willingness to get experimental with even the most foundational of components in “Enjoy the View” is an encouraging attribute if you’re looking for a player who can be melodic and test the boundaries of his own artistry, and moreover, anyone who isn’t interested in fitting into a preconceived box.
This percussive element in the song is a little conservative in comparison to what I’d usually prefer in this kind of a composition, but I can understand why it had to be limited next to the vocal and the other instrumental parts in the song for sure. There’s a strong effort to preserve the softer points in “Enjoy the View” on Shiitake’s part even amidst his desire to give us some physicality on the backend, and though it could have a gone a tad smoother, he blends together both of his goals quite efficiently in this release.
While the music video for “Enjoy the View” doesn’t really do much to evolve the concept that gives us the single in the first place, it has a playful quality I wasn’t necessarily anticipating on seeing which really affected how much I liked it. Papi Shiitake’s career is still in its infancy at the moment, but just the mere fact that we’ve already seen as bold a look as we have from him in these initial offerings is really telling of just how much we need to be expecting out of his camp in future recordings.
I admittedly haven’t been impressed with very many of the greenhorn grooves I’ve heard out of this guy’s scene in the year 2020, but Papi Shiitake ups the stakes significantly by being himself and giving me something I honestly did not know what to make of in “Enjoy the View” this October. It’s about as far to the left of the prominent pop music model in America as you can get while still holding some level of radio appeal, but if you’re looking for a glimmer of real potential from a singer/songwriter who doesn’t spend his entire time in the studio posing, you can’t go wrong with this track.
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