I think Zach Burba (left) of iji is the best thing to happen to pop music in a long time. Zach started iji around the ages of 18 or 19 and hasn’t stopped. In fact he’s cranking out a new album every year then touring the U.S. in support of those albums. When I saw him he played before the time listed on the Facebook event page, thus I missed his set. Instead of saying, “Sorry, guess you’ll have to see me next year” he went with some friends of mine and me to an Arbys down the street and played songs on the ukulele in the parking lot. It was honestly a life-changing experience. It showed me how friendly people could be and just in general restored my faith in humanity.

The music of iji is hard to define. Well specifics are hard to define. The “pop” label is perfect for iji, but is it indie? Or perhaps twee? Well they both fit, but they don’t fit into either. I just call it straight up pop and my god, is it good pop. Zach knows how to write a melody, so much so it can stick in your head, just stay there and gnaw away at your brain for days. I get iji songs stuck in my head and I will sing, hum, and whatever else them for weeks until I find a new iji song and repeat the process. Lyric-wise the man is a genius. It blows my mind how catchy and just well-fit the lyrics are. While every song may sound different and like something you’ve never heard before the lyrics remain consistent as to personal experiences, metaphors, and stories about Burba’s life. Also his voice, some people will hate it. It’s like a twee-Daniel Johnston; I love it. As albums go on you will come to love Zach’s voice more and more until you want everyone to sound like it.

I cannot recommend this band highly enough. If you ever get the chance to see or meet Zach in person please do. He’s an amazing person and artist. I’ve uploaded three albums, two he’s given away for free already. If you have the money please support him. His CD’s and tapes are only $5-8 which for this kind of quality is a great deal. Onto the albums:

iji – “In Celebration”

iji cover high res



His newest album. It’s extremely accessible and a great starting point for new listeners.

iji – Soup Or Salad?



This was the first album I heard by him. It’s what got me hooked. Has some of the catchiest songs ever, and no, I’m not exaggerating.

iji – Bee-Sides and Compilation Tracks 2006-2009


This should be the last one to download if you got into the first two. Has some covers, including one by Billy Joel and another by Indian Dance.

P.S. The name is pronounced eehee.