No matter how immense a musical talent is intrinsically, sometimes resetting your surroundings can be the biggest catalyst to moving on up. Like, look at singer-guitarist Karima Santi, who cut her teeth in jazz, folk, and punk groups on the other side of the decade up in the Raleigh-Durham area. Sure, those bands kept Karima busy, and yet at the same time, none of them managed to quite suit Santi’s specific niche of styles and tastes. So by the time she moved down here to Austin, COVID creeping up behind, Santi’d already begun zeroing in on solo songwriting, releasing her streaming debut “You in 3/4” that August.
Since then, Karima’s repertoire of indie rock originals has reached the hundreds, and her connections with local industry heavyweights has only expanded after recording at feel flow studio back in 2021. Case in point: Karima’s recently collaborated with a dream team of Austin talent plus Grammy-nominated producer/engineer Chris “Frenchie” Smith at The Bubble to give her Mazzy Star-meets-Cat Power compositions their best set of legs possible. On top of that, she just made her SoFar sounds debut on Veteran’s Day.
So while it’s easy enough to admire Karima Santi in this still-fledgling phase, we can also appreciate the anxiety that must come from starting fresh in a new town with a lifetime’s worth of tunes in tow. And following October’s “Underwater”, Santi speaks to that unease with her deceptively downtempo latest, “Space”. Its overlapping guitars and unwavering drums forge an acoustic-electric garrison around Santi’s emotional vocals for a four-minute masterpiece of moodiness.