Bashful?

The new EP from Kwes, Meantime, is just four tracks.  This artist seems to expose himself in guarded little chunks, which plays into the calculatedly confessional feel of the tunes on Meantime.  One song, “Klee,” is instrumental, but most of the songs center on Kwes’s sweet, clear vocals perched amid clicking electronics.   This music makes a point of its honesty, and odd little electronic pitter patters sometimes serve to make the honesty seem like the product of a nervous tic.  Kwes plays a well-known role, the sensitive man who fancies himself the underdog.  He admires from afar, admits that he’s bashful with some nifty word play – babbling the cascading series of syllables, “accountable for the lack of mettle in my bones, I’m bashful” — and sings phrases that sound like “My leafy heart grew fonder” and “I’m stuck on you honey.”  But “Honey” briefly organizes itself around a strong riff in the last minute, a riff that smacks of pursuit (helped by a brief, jaunty whistle), the kind of thing that belies his role as a man too sweet to be decisive.

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