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Here's where we find out which albums the DJs on The North 1033's student-run program Road Salt Radio are excited about each week!

Basement Featured Album of the Week: Ginger Root-Nisemono

Album cover featuring a picture of what looks like a desk with a small tube television, a Chinese zodiac chart on the wall, and a headshot of a person in glasses with one hand on their cheek

The third official EP from Ginger Root, released September 9, 2022, did not disappoint.

I got the chance to see Ginger Root live this past weekend in St. Paul, and the live experience was immersive and fitting for their EP’s storyline. Little CRT televisions were set up on the sides of the stages that played bits of promotional videos to aid the storyline of the album. The premise of the EP’s journey is of Ginger Root accidentally rising to fame after taking the place of a famous singer, and touching on themes like imposter syndrome. Cameron Lew’s quirky and awkward humor was the perfect touch and really reflected what they are all about.

Ginger Root’s self-described music category is “Aggressive Elevator Soul,” which utilizes Cameron’s animated synth and melodica skills, Dylan Hovis’ impressive bass lines, and Matt Carney’s momentous drumming style. These three high school friends derive this EP’s plot from the Japanese word “Nisemono” meaning fake or fraud.

The first song, “Kimiko,” is a perfect introductory song, it feels like a transition into a video game or opening credit scene. The light melody follows the journey of Kimiko Takeguchi, the star that Ginger Root fills in for in the story. The next song, “Loneliness,” is the most catchy chorus of the album, that highlights Cameron’s range and will never not leave you at least tapping your foot.

“Holy Hell” has a similar but slower rhythm. “Over the Hill” really feels like walking up a hill and grooving, enjoying the simple sights around you, and letting go. The title track, “Nisemono,” has a steady, soulful, and whimsical beat that feels like the climax of the journey. Dylan’s bass lines keep the song perpetuating and slows down to the perfect mesmerizing ending. The EP ends with the conclusive and positive “Everything’s Alright (Meet You in the Galaxy Ending Theme)” that really highlights Carney’s drumming style. The theme of feeling like a fraud has a perfect close that makes you feel that you can truly be yourself, something that this band is exemplary at.

Try this album if you like: Makoto Matsushita, Vulfpeck, Thundercat, Unknown Mortal Orchestra

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