Review: Kiro Skiro – ‘Vapor of the Veins’

It’s not too common to come across songs where acoustic guitars and synthesizers are the most prominent of all the instrumentation. In a world ruled by genres, it’s typical for acoustic guitars to be found primarily in Country, Folk, and of course Rock music. Synths, on the other hand dominate other ends of the spectrum in genres such as Dance, Electronic, Hip-Hop, etc. With that said, it amazes me how Seattle’s own Kiro Skiro defies these conventional boundaries to create dreamy and textured soundscapes, all while pioneering with these two focal instruments of choice.

Vapor Of The Veins is the newest EP of Derek Bennett’s solo project, and encompasses a lot in just 3 songs. Each song is unique in its own way, while altogether a well represented collective of Bennett’s dutiful work. Opening track title Track, “ Vapor Of The Veins” is an interesting and bold dive right into his signature sound. The song itself is an incredibly creative mosaic of enveloping guitars and swirling synths that trade off from complementary pads to lead chorus lines. Distortion also plays a significant role on the track as well, not to mention throughout the EP. Through the bitcrushing snare hits to adding flavorful intensity, it is a commendable and respectable decision that has paid off in the end.
The track resolves with a whirlwind of swirling feedback, white noise and modulating synths, which once again signifies the Bennett’s unique style and approach to music.

Each track seems to have been diligently crafted, sonically, and musically. The songwriting throughout the EP is interesting enough on its own, as it strays from cliché and typical songwriting. Yet, at the same time the songs possess elements of pop music; with the catchy choruses such as the one in “Closer” along with captivating guitar lines and melodies. With that said, it is easier to accept or perceive the EP as something along the lines of “Dream Pop” but with the self-professed electroacoustic tag not far behind it.

Closing track “Future Frame” seems to be one of the stronger and catchier tracks off the EP; hence why it may be last. The dreamy and melancholic atmosphere painted with synths pays tribute to one of the band’s influences Bon Iver, and does it good justice as well. It does well at setting the tone of the space, allowing the lead vocals to cut through and bring everything together. The production on the track is amazing as well, and is nothing short of Earwig Studios’ Don Farwell’s incredible mixing. The distortion/bitcrushing makes it debut once again, but interestingly enough, on the vocals! Simply ingenious and innovative; there is just a lot to be said about this group.

Vapor Of The Veins is out now and is still hot on the block. It is undoubtedly a creative and interesting synthesis of common components within an unconventional setting. I highly recommend giving it a listen as it is short, enjoyable, and to the point. Even if you aren’t a fan of Depeche Mode, Beck or Bon Iver, it is still worth experiencing, as there are a lot of colorful textures and commendable intricacies that make it fundamentally respectable. Until Next time!

(Listen to the EP below via Bandcamp and you can get more info about Kiro Skiro on Facebook HERE.)