KENSHIRO+ / Vantablack Hearts
Before we get started here, let's settle a few things right at the door. 1.) If you're looking for another average synthwave shovelware album, head back now. 2.) If you're a fan of musicians who use 3 or 4 chords and repeat the same beats over and over again, you should probably head back. 3.) If you're looking for an artist that's not scared to push a few boundaries, has progressive songwriting skills, and a penchant for experimenting with new and exciting sounds, I may have just found your new favorite act.
Vantablack Hearts, the second EP from KENSHIRO+ is anything from ordinary. It's actually one of the most expansive releases of the year, pushing toward yet to be explored synthwave arenas. Carrying the theme of vantablack, a color that absorbs 99% of light, KENSHIRO+ has crafted an EP that shows that even 1% of light can be victorious against impossible odds. Vantablack Hearts has a blackened crust...that's for sure...but at its core there is hope, and that's a theme I can get behind.
Another thing I'd like to mention about Vantablack Hearts is how fantastic it sounds. There's a lot going on here, a lot more than your average synthwave record. Tight mastering from Jon Thomson, aka Ethereal Delusions, is evident, as each sound has its own unique place in these tracks. Beyond that, KENSHIRO+ took the Synthwave Songwriting 101 textbook and threw it out the window. This is one of the freshest releases of the year, and honestly, to surprise me with a new direction in sound excites me to no end.
You can grab Vantablack Hearts by KENSHIRO+ over at Bandcamp right now, and you should support creative ventures like this. We need more artists who are willing to jump off into the abyss and come back with new ideas.