100 Bands in 100 Days Presented by Verity Credit Union — Day 19: Kiro Skiro

Please check out Verity Credit Union, our great partner in the 100 Bands in 100 Days local music showcase.

Artwork by Seattle-area painter E.R. Saba

Music fans of the Pacific Northwest, get ready for our fourth annual year-end daily local music showcase, 100 Bands in 100 Days, where every day until December 31st, we’re showcasing a new band or artist you have to know about, presented by Verity Credit Union. Make sure you are checking the #100Bands100Days hashtag at Twitter on the daily to stay on top of all the bands featured and make sure to follow Verity on Twitter and NW_Music_Scene as well. Some days the featured act could be an established and locally-adored northwest-based musician and other times they could be a band with a small following that just hasn’t had their deserved time in the sun yet. Either way, we’re fairly confident you can come away from this daily segment with plenty of new favorites. Today’s featured artist is Kiro Skiro.  

Back in July of this year we reviewed the latest EP from Seattle’s Kiro Skiro, the solo project of Derek Bennett. Born and raised in Wichita, Kansas,  Bennett has been creating music ever since getting his first guitar/amp beginner’s set as a teenager in the mid-90s.

Worshipping at the altar of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Tool, Bennett obsessed over every riff as he developed his guitar sound – picking up a knack for songwriting along the way. He eventually moved out of the bedroom and onto the stage as he played lead and eventually fronted several bands over the following two decades.

After performing hundreds of gigs at just about every type of venue, Bennett has refocused his musical aspirations to include sounds he’d previously dismissed. Entering the new (to him) world of synths, drum machines and previously untapped textures, Bennett approaches the Kiro Skiro project with the mindset of someone discovering music for the first time.

Here’s some of what we said about the EP in our review:

It’s not too common in this genre 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 electro-acoustic tag not far behind it.

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

Submissions for 100 Bands in 100 Days are still open to any Pacific Northwest band interested in submitting. If you would like to submit for a chance to be featured in this segment, consult this link for more information on how you can do so.

A huge shoutout to Verity Credit Union for doing so much for the music community and for being such a great partner. 

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