FROSTY by Kunzite
High Notes by Ron Powers
FROSTY by Kunzite
Kunzite refers to its self as “a multi-dimensional sound system broadcasting from inner Earth, while simultaneously emanating from the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy.” Judging by that description you may assume Kunzite is different than most bands… and you’d be right. They go on to describe themselves stating “It requires at least two human interfaces to disseminate the sounds, those being producers/multi-instrumentalists Mike Stroud (from the band RATATAT) and Agustin White (from the band WHITE FLIGHT).” This kind of creativity is felt in every corner of Kunzite’s music. They are a band playing by their own rules and their latest single “FROSTY” is a particularly enjoyable example.
The artwork for the single was the first thing that caught my attention. It reminds me of a 1980s videogame mixed with occult and mystical imagery. Not only was the artwork enough to draw me in, but it also enhances the music. The textures, colors, and images used for the cover match perfectly with the song itself. If the music was an image it would be the artwork used for the single. I’m impressed when bands find a way to create this kind of cohesion between the various elements of a song’s presentation. It reflects a measure of care and love for the art that is hard to find.
The authenticity, with which Kunzite creates, is easily recognized from the first notes of “FROSTY”. The intro begins with a massive chord that sounds like a combination of vintage organ, fuzz guitar, and synth. As the chord fades, a tight and head-bobbing beat mixes with a rolling bassline and a cheerful lead guitar part. In the background, we also hear the sounds of birds chirping along with other jungle sounds. Just before the intro transitions into the first verse, a clean-sounding organ with tremolo is added along with shimmering guitar/synth stutter sounds. Within these opening measures, Kunzite communicates a respect for the listener and dedication to the music that few artists possess.
For the verse, singer Justin Roelofs delivers a gliding and cool melody along with the ethereal lyrics – “Ride on the rays of the farthest sun / Oh fly on the wave of the solar hum / Oh climb on the lace of the heavens hung / You got to ride on / The wave when the swell has come”. Under the melody, Kunzite adds a pleasing arrangement of drums, bass, and organ which combine to create a groove that practically forces you to bob your head. As the verse progresses guitarist Mike Stroud delivers a fuzzed-out guitar line that has the vibrant twisting feel of a 1950s rock-n-roll brass section.
Kunzite exit the verse with subtle tension leading into an expansive and epic chorus. This big feeling is created with a mix of background vocals, organ, and synth chords that hit the ears like a massive choir. Under these elements, the bass and drums maintain the sturdy foundation established during the verse. Kunzite shifts to a new chord progression for the chorus, allowing for a pleasing variation of melodic expression in the topline.
If you haven’t already started listening to “FROSTY” while reading this review I thoroughly recommend you do. You can find Kunzite’s music on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and most places music is streamed or sold. If you’d like to learn more about Kunzite you can find them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.