One-way ticket to ride along the rings of Saturn (emotionally)
KUNZITE is a two-person band made up of Augustin White, who is based in Hawaii and Oregon, and Mike Stroud, who is based in New York. The two men created VISUALS, their newest album, starting with tracks made in White’s studio in Hawaii, finished in Stroud’s upstate New York studio.
The album is a high-energy, abstract piece of art that fans who admire a coherent album will love. The album has sections of songs that transition into each other as well as those that break off into their mood, but the whole thing just makes sense.
The band starts the album off with their single “LEMON SWAYZE,” which, as written on their website, was “inspired by a vision Agustin had of lemons as spaceships, induced by the consumption of a favorite cannabis strain, “Lemon Cake.” If this didn’t pique one’s interest, then the jubilant synth sounds and catchy beat and bass ostinato will. The spacey instrumentation at the beginning of the song is pretty interesting, and there are definitely “lemon spaceship” vibes there.
There are two songs in the middle of the album named after planets, “JUPITER” and “SATURN.” “JUPITER” is a funky track that feels like is a hybrid blend of funk, rock and R&B, complete with electric guitar solos and a funky rhythm. The song also has vocals that pull the listener in with their almost sarcastic (but not acrid or harsh) tone, mixed with effects that add to their power. “SATURN” starts with choir-like keyboard sounds that are slightly haunting but are also very beautiful. The song does not hesitate for a moment before going into those spacey synths once more, diving into an electronic-pop/rock sound right away. The catchy underlying guitar ostinato is a grungy layer that makes the listener feel as if they are partying in space.
“HALOHEAD” sounds like what it implies as first, sort of ethereal, but soon the song breaks into raucous guitar, drums and vocals, with lyrics that scream: “It’s already way too heavy out here.” There are sci-fi-influenced keyboard tones that intriguing the mind. It all brings the listener into a deeper state of thought as they take in lyrics.
“CIELO’s” trap-esque beginning highlights the album’s ability to shape-shift into multiple genres. The song becomes more intense as it goes on, adding lyrics and keeping a steady rhythmic flow. The song is a great piece for anyone looking for an almost lofi/ambient-type study song to add to their playlist. The lyrics are in Spanish and depict a long, presumably never-ending stairway that leads upward and in a skyward direction (Genius Lyrics). Definitely an interesting concept.
For those who have a penchant for the sadder side of music, “PLN” has a wonderful yet melancholy beginning and message but eventually becomes a rather playful and funky-sounding song. The lyrics, contrastingly, are about a “resistor” who, according to the song, seems on the brink of abandonment of their cause. Even though this piece is one of the saddest on the album, it still manages to feel uplifting, fun and almost anthemic. On another note, if VISUALS was an art museum, “SUPREME BEAM” would be an abstract piece of art. Full of miscellaneous sound effects, this song is an intriguing work of art. It’s art that you can really dance to.
Overall, this album is for anyone who enjoys Pink Floyd-like vibes laid in a more pop-like setting. Once people start listening to “LEMON SWAYZE,” they’ll soon will find that they’ve spent almost an hour riding the rings of Saturn, without the assisted high.