Saturday, 14 March 2015

Singer and cellist extraordinaire Kanon Wakeshima - Tsukinami

Kanon Wakeshima is a Japanese singer and exceptional cellist player. Originally signed with Japanese record label DefStar, she debuted with the single "Still Doll", the ending theme to the anime adaptation of the Shōjo manga series, Vampire Knight, her second single "Suna no Oshiro" was also used for the anime's second season titled, Vampire Knight (Guilty).  

Kanon released 2 albums, Shinshoku Dolce in 2009 and Lolitawork Librettoseveral in 2010, before going on to form a duo with An Cafe's bassist Kanon, called Kanon x Kanon later that same year. The duo went on to sing the second theme song for the anime adaptation of Shiki, called "Calendula Requiem", and later released their second single, "Koi no Doutei", which was used as the opening song for the anime 30-sai no Hoken Taiiku.

Now signed with Warner Music Japan, Kanon continues her solo career with the release of her first new album titled, Tsukinami (Released 25/2/2015)

Kanon Wakeshima - Killy killy JOKER
From the album Tsukinami

The Album opens with Killy killy JOKER. Sombre sounds of cello fill the air, followed by tuneful piano music and warm drum beats, as the intro progresses the sombre tone transitions to a more lively and pleasant vibe, joined then by Kanon's warm and expressive vocals. The brief into is swiftly followed by a punchy, fast-paced chorus, with rich, lingering sounds provided by the cello combining beautifully with Kanon's rhythmically melodic vocalisations, producing a unique a pleasant tone that hits you with a multitude of emotions. With diverse shifts in dynamic, heartfelt, melodic vocals and creative, varied instrumentation, Killy killy JOKER makes for a beautiful and intriguing piece.

Next up is the title track, Tsukinami. Opening with cheery piano music accompanied by fluctuating digital sounds, the song quickly explodes to the sound of electric guitar riffs, followed by Kanon's cute, childish sounding vocals. The sweet vocalisations are followed up by the warm vibrant sounds of cello, lifting your spirit and carrying you along for the ride, whilst the remaining instrumentation combine wonderfully to create a fun and cheerful piece.

Followed up by the fun and enjoyable Sansukumi. The track opens with Kanon's cute and charming sounding vocals, joined by cheery piano music and various sounds of zips, gears and jingles. Each noise adds an extra fun layer and combine to produce a unique, pleasant sound, whilst the vocalisation transitions to take on a more poppy vibe, with vocal layering and various distortions coming into play. Instrumentally, the song has a rich, full accompaniment offering a pleasant, upbeat vibe that complements the vocal track perfectly.

Chocolate offers a mature sound vocaly, while sung like a lullaby with various intonations in pitch backed up by pleasant piano music and the warm vibrant sounds of the cello. The following track Signal is passionate and full of heartfelt vocalisations, with the chello and electric guitar combining to create unique and powerful sound. Kanon's vocals take on an even more cute, childish sound than before with Foul play, accompanied by fast-paced, rhythmic drum beats playing along side cello, piano and sounds of electric guitar, all pulling together to offer a poppy fun and very pleasant piece.

sakura meikyuu is up next with passionate, well held vocalisations sung to the beat of rich cello sounds, and tuneful piano music. Kanon's voice here is strong and expressive with varying intonations in pitch adding to the emotional and dynamic shifts in tone. The next track, Cute Imaginations of an Artist follows up with confident and stylish vocals, sung to the punchy rhythmic beat laid out by jaunty piano music and peppy sounding drum beats.  

Nightingale flows to the tune of piano music with Kanon's emotive and melodic sounding vocals taking centre stage. With its rich full sounding accompaniment the piece provides a passionate and expressive sound. Followed up by the pop-rock-esque tunes of world's end girl's rondo. A beautiful piece with a balanced mix of English and Japanese vocals expressing longing and hopefulnes, sung both passionately and clearly whilst accompanied by punchy-guitar riffs, hard-hitting drum-beats and vibrant sounds of Kanon's trademark cello. 

Capping it all off is Monster Star. Opening with Kanon's beautiful and expressive vocals, followed by pleasant sounds of piano music, the song swiftly bursts with vibrant sounds of cello, rhythmic drum beats and peppered with the strummings of electric guitar. The up-beat, poppy sounds provided by the varied instrumentation both compliment and combine beautifully with Kanon's rich and expressive vocals, offering a pleasant and flowing sound that you could quite easily lose yourself in. 

All-in-all, Tsukinami offers a wide variety of sounds. Each track provides you with something new, different and in some cases unique, Kanon has proved herself yet again as a wonderful singer and an exceptional cello player, who I will definitely be keeping a closer eye on from now on.

If you'd like to check out a song from the album yourself, you can find the MV for Killy killy JOKER linked above. Thanks for sticking with us through this rather lengthy review, and please do let us know what you thought of the song in the comments.

Check out Kanon Wakeshima's website
Follow her on Twitter @87kanon
Follow her on Facebook

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