Kilmanjaro: 40 (Without Her Love)

Kilmanjaro - "40 (Without Her Love) "  (NYK Records). Not to be confused with the similarly-named mountain (Kilimanjaro) or jazz combo (Kilimanjaro), this is a Toronto-based quartet that is showing real promise.

Kilmanjaro is made up of Kaan Gunesberk, Ian Culley, Luke Graves, and Ryan Macdonald. The band released their debut LP, A Place Unkown To All You Ever Say, in January this year.

They have just put out a video for their single, “40”. In a press release, they explain “This song is the climax point in the album. All the feelings conveyed throughout the album come to this point of realization. There’s a lot of tension in the first half of the song. But it reaches a point where you’re freed from that prison of emotion that’s been holding you for the whole album. There’s this sense of awakening.”

This is electronica with a more sophisticated compositional approach than much of the synth-pop proliferating out there. Insistently pulsating keyboards punctuate the track, with layered vocal harmonies placed atop. The results are somehow simultaneously unsettling and pleasing.

Of note is the fact that Culley and Gunesberk are both active songwriters and musicians outside of Kilmanjaro, with some notable credits on their CVs. 

Culley contributed songwriting efforts to Daniel Caesar’s “Get You” and Gunesberk's vocals were featured on Drake’s “Right Hand.” As a composer, Gunesberk has had work performed by students of the University of Toronto Jazz program.

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