Yoshi T.‘s EP ‘SANDBOX’ Is Exactly What You Need for the Coming Summer Solstice [EP Review]

Olive Soki

I’m big on aligning my music to my environment, and this includes seasons. Winter, spring, summer, and fall, each season evokes different feelings and desires. A month before each phase I usually start thinking about my next seasonal playlist with the intention of creating the perfect soundtrack for the next 3-4 months. Naturally, the music I listen to throughout the coming months shapes my experiences and future nostalgia, so I always take on the task with great care and precision.

While Yoshi T. tries not to associate his music with particular seasons, his new EP SANDBOX was his first venture into making a project revolving around the concept. Although he adopted the philosophy unintentionally, haphazardly creating a summer project due to seasonal anticipation and rumination, the final product consolidated into a perfectly sandy four-track snapshot of the summer solstice. Overflowing with direct cues, like the sound of waves crashing onto shore at the end of various tracks, the peaceful and carefree essence of the season is unmistakably present throughout the EP.

The single and opening track “MCQUEEN” makes for a buoyant and funky introduction to the record. Fading in and out of high and low energy songs, the remainder of the EP feels like you’re stuck in between playing spikeball on a warm and sunny beach, and floating like a starfish under cotton candy skies. Balanced by coupling bass-heavy songs with lighter percussion (think “MISS JANE”) and aquatically ambient ones like “WHY,” each song leads up to the exceptional closer, “MY SANDBOX.” Quiet yet impactful, you really can’t go wrong with this one. Adorned by a billowy saxophone solo and crashing waves, the track embodies the oh-so-familiar feeling of end-of-summer blues. Leaving behind earlier feelings of bravado, Yoshi truthfully contemplates the future of a relationship, as well as the lingering fear of losing a partner.

Lined with clever wordplay and dynamic production, SANDBOX captures the season in its best light. And, much like my beloved playlists, Yoshi T. meticulously compiled the right pieces, creating the perfect frame for his vibrant collage. Bliss, love, heartbreak, and reflection, all emotions that tend to blossom in the summer months, fused and packaged into a project for you to consume to your heart's desires. Suffice to say that SANDBOX could easily become your new summer essential.

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