Indie Rock

Stories – feat. Shirotoeda by KiQ

Released: 22.05.18 / Label: mimikaki DISK

This track by KiQ is a surprise folk gem that you don’t want to miss.

The melody and guitar are really great throughout the whole song. I especially love to choice to include a whistle solo, it just brings that indie-rock/folk feeling home. I was left wanting more of the female vocal part overall, but the sections she joins in on harmony sound beautiful. Sadly the rhythm section does nothing but play on repeat for the whole tune. It’s fine for a single listen, but after a few plays it starts to stand out. I’d be interested to see how this comes across live.

The acoustic guitar is heartfelt but a bit shaky at the worst possible moments. The vocals are really what make the song stand out. The singer has a really sweet tone, and his style matches the melody’s soft lilting flow. The solo sections are also performed really well. I’m jealous that I can’t whistle like that.

They lyrics are a wonderful example of storytelling that fits perfectly in the genre. Simple yet poetic. Thematic repetition but with variations to keep it interesting. Absolutely the best part of this track.

I do wish they had gotten a better sound on the guitar and drums in the recording session. It still works because this is a folk song, but even so. The general mix is really good though, making great use of space and maintaining a simplicity that keeps the storytelling center stage.

Verdict: Worth your time (3.5/5)

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Parachute by Yuransen

Released: 22.04.29 / Label: O.O.C Records

Released as a lead single for Yuransen‘s new album MY REVOLUTION, Parachute is a solid song that knows how to create a chill vibe, although it may stretch on a bit too long for its own good.

The song starts off with a pleasant groove and mellow tones. The vocals add flavor and motion, bringing the song to life. However, because the song uses on layers that drop in and out for development, nothing stands out as particularly important. This makes the track feel about a minute too long and increasingly repetitive. A stronger solo or removing the overly-present piano octaves could have improved the overall structure. More likely though, the song would have worked better at a sweet 3:30.

The instrumentals do a great job of setting the tone. The relaxed phrasings and subdued melodies all hit that ‘chill’ sweet spot. But it seems like no one told the vocalist that pitch was important for feel. The wavering tones in the melody don’t match the clear sound the rest of the band is working toward. That isn’t to say the singer’s tone is bad, just not a good fit here.

The recording is excellent, and all the instruments sound great. However, when the vocals come in, the guitar seems to fade into the background. Better balance might have taken this song to another level, but what we do get is good. I feel like they may have run into time constraints trying to get this single out before the album’s the release, something I talked about in the FOG review as well. It may be worth checking out the full album to see if the quality differs.

Verdict: Worth your time (3/5)

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