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Synth Single Review: "Kyoto" by Coasltal (feat. Oblique)

Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.


Coastal’s song Kyoto features Sonja (from Oblique) on vocals that tells a hopeful tale of love and escaping from the demands of the world to live a fulfilling life. The song begins with warm swirls of gliding synth that form a bright melody. There’s a sense of hope hope and dreaming energy in the melody. A guitar rings out in clear notes and now the deep bass throb and drum heartbeat adds shape to the track.

Sonja’s vocals are clear, expressive and emotive. Her voice is distinctive and full of energy. The song breaks into a sparkling segment as a sax carries a delicate solo that is tinged with gentle light. The sax howls with passion now over the driving beat as the chorus intertwines the voices of the singers in a tapestry of sound.

The narrator talks about “catching the last train to Kyoto” and taking in sunsets as well as “taking chances in the arcades.” She talks of “living in the best age” and that the subject of the song is the only person she’s ever wanted. She says that “they offered it all, but I don’t want it” so “let’s leave it all behind tonight.”

A strong image is painted in the line that talks about taking to a sky “drenched in starlight” and as they take the last train to Kyoto “the city sings, the mountains echo.” The song conveys the idea of this couple who are trading “glances as we both sway” and dreaming together through the years.

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