NTsKi and Yosuke Shimonaka create a cyber-mystic world in “Heaven”
“How can I get out / How can I get out from here to heaven?”
The last time we heard from Kyoto-based singer NTsKi was on the vintage, soft synthpop jam “1992” back in 2018. Sonically nostalgic, “1992” was a continuation of the plush, downtrodden songs that she had first championed on her first few singles as an artist. Since then, she’s released two songs–the similarly comforting “D’Ya Hear Me!” last year as well as the traditional Japanese folk instrument sampling “The New Japan Islands.” But now, she’s back with a new sound, diving into more guitar-driven territory with a fresh new attitude.
“Heaven,” NTsKi’s newest song released this week, is unlike anything that the artist has done before. Trading in reminiscent electronic beats for a leading guitar, “Heaven” finds the artist shifting course by collaborating with fellow Japanese musician Yosuke Shimonaka of garage rock band DYGL. After coming together via Instagram stories, NTsKi and Shimonaka form an unlikely duo. Yet “Heaven,” which is more a hip-hop track than anything, uniquely matches laid-back guitar chords with NTsKi’s formerly untapped rapping potential. Relaxing and breezy, “Heaven” is a little slice of just what the title promises. Despite rapping about the dearth of hope in the modern world, NTsKi’s impressive flow is captivating when backed up by Shimonaka’s pleasantly transportive work.
Perhaps that idea of escape is the reason for duo’s imaginative cyber-mystic video for “Heaven,” which was produced and directed by frequent NTsKi collaborator Prosper Unger-Hamilton. Here, NTsKi is an elf who lounges around spellbinding waterfalls, desolate deserts, and enchanting forests. Shimonaka likewise makes an appearance here as an angel, hanging around her as she delivers her flowing verses.
In times of uneasiness, “Heaven” offers a brief vacation–offering an evergreen respite to a crumbling world.
Yosuke Shimonaka pages: Instagram
Li-Wei Chu is the chief editor of From the Intercom. When he’s not editing drafts and searching for new artists to cover for the website, he loves watching cult films, cooking, and listening to his ever-growing collection of vinyl records. You can follow him on LetterBoxd and make fun of his taste in movies here!