seventh heaven – [senses]

Today’s world is one that sees a heightened level of self-awareness and transparency when it comes to having a public image. In knowing this, it makes it all the more special when a figure – especially one in an online space – can embrace the art of conceptual anonymity to its fullest potential and carry their lives out as such within this very space. 

The few musicians who do this so well in today’s age are seeing their careers supplemented by simply standing out amongst the rest of their contemporaries, and given music as a stand-alone medium, this conceptual outlook just begs for these artists to tailor a full-length experience around it. Their already-immense sense of creativity is simply bolstered if given the right amount of time and care to an album in this manner.

An artist who has done the absolute most with this concept within the burgeoning online music scene over the past year-plus has been senses — a self-proclaimed musical robot of sorts who has been making some of the most outstanding electronic-tinged pop music to come out of this rising scene as a whole. But one thing they lacked to fully correlate with their unique conceptual artistry was indeed an album to go with it, so it makes sense to reason that as soon as this new year began, the world would receive exactly that with their very own full-length debut in seventh heaven.

The number of creative possibilities that senses could have taken with this type of medium was essentially limitless; with a concept that directly opposes the traditional image-based outlook that modern pop music brings with it, it goes to show how integral such a concept is to the construction of an album like this in the first place. But what senses ended up deciding on was a 12-song project that exemplifies every single facet of what makes this act so special by themself — and in short, it is a fantastic collection of thematic pop offerings from one of the best to do it in the game today. 

One thing that senses does practically better than anyone else working in their lane today is the sheer art of cinematic music — tracks that see all of the passion and detail in the world poured into them to make the most momentous experience imaginable occur. Nearly every single song here achieves that notion with all the grace in the world, from the Lilac-produced opening track “supercharged” all the way down to the appropriately conclusive closer in “guardian angel,” which features a fluttering and spacious Yandere instrumental.

Though each track does the absolute most in being as cinematic as possible, senses still holds their pop sensibilities as close as they can in every moment possible. Tracks like the especially-robotic “trying so hard” and “want me gone” are as catchy and infectious as can be from a solo standpoint, as well as arguably the album’s most gripping pop offering among all in “worthless,” which features an assist from pop standout Kid Trash.

The cast of features on this album do a fantastic job in effectively contrasting with the unapproachable voice that senses has to their name. Blackwinterwells adds a dramatic and conclusive verse to the title track, Uusymon provides a necessary change-of-pace on “black hawk,” and Kuru caps off “uninstall” with an incredible verse of his own. Even one of their closest contemporaries in Nosgov joins the tracklist on the thunderous “moving” — a track that is led into by a harsh and abrasive interlude beforehand. 

The true star of the show, however, is of course senses themselves, who elevates their prowess as one of modern music’s most important, integral, and impressive artists with this album as a whole. Nowhere else could one person find music on the same level of thematic and conceptual weight as this, with all the quality and talent in the world to go with it. Even an album as detailed to its core as this one still fails to downplay the number of possibilities available for their career to progress, but from a spectacle, this project is just about everything one could ask for leading up to this moment for such a standout act.