Sep 20, 2022
By Caleb Campbell
Since debuting with his aptly titled 2020 EP, Quarantine Dream, Brooklyn singer/songwriter Papi Shiitake has styled their own blissed-out take on slacker indie pop. Singer Young Tuxx croons over co-writer Ryan Sieloff’s dreamy soundscapes, taking equal inspiration from ‘60s psychedelia, sunny pop harmonies, and indie songwriters like Kurt Vile or Mac DeMarco.
Since his debut, Papi Shiitake has returned with a string of new singles and now he’s back with news of his forthcoming record, Wabi-Sabi, out November 18th via Trash Casual. He teased the record this year with its lead single, “Mexican Moonlight,” and today he’s back with his new track “Mountains Red,” premiering with Under the Radar.
Compared to the sunny vibe and Beatles harmonies of “Mexican Moonlight,” “Mountains Red” feels a bit more abstract and psychedelic, carried by a subtle breezy groove and droning mellotrons. The result is a gem of mesmeric songwriting the perfect stage for Papi Shiitake’s layers of crooning melodies and contemplative lyrics一“‘Cause now I’m painting mountains red / I’m going back through my head / I’ll waste it all instead / No plan but it makes more sense than mine.”
He explains of the song, “There is a different feel to ‘Mountains Red’ that I really love. I wrote this one in Mexico City and the place I was staying had this incredible painting of this abstract red mountain. For some reason it spoke to me and I started writing. It’s actually the only song on the album that I wrote without my co-writer Ryan Sieloff.
I love mellotrons which are a big part of the song, a la Strawberry Fields Forever, and I wanted to write something a little more groovy. I loved playing the bass on this one which is funny because it’s actually a pitched guitar. I had a really hard time finding instruments in Mexico City and ended up meeting a friend of a friend who let me borrow a Gibson Les Paul. He even put a joint in the guitar case for me. Mexicans are truly the best.
It’s taken me so long to get to where I am as an artist that sometimes it feels like I’ve wasted huge parts of my life. It’s almost as if the more you plan the farther you stray from your goals. This song is about coming to terms with the patience needed to realize your dreams.”
Check out the song below and stream it here. Wabi-Sabi is out everywhere on November 18th via Trash Casual.