With a name that translates literally to ‘playful sex’ (the Japanese colloquialism for ‘casual sex’) and lyrics in both Japanese and English, this Brooklyn-based duo put out a new album titled ‘Hush’ last week — and I came this close to missing the boat.
I remember seeing the album recommendation in last month’s issue of Monocle and wrote it off then. Yes, I trust the publication for a lot, but music tips are a different matter entirely. What does some fancy, Prada-suited jet-setting writer employed in one of Monocle’s bureauxs know about music?
Enough, apparently. Asobi Seksu has garnered many a comparison to My Bloody Valentine — rarely a bad sign, so long as the comparison isn’t inaccurate and lazy — but they’ve gone another way on ‘Hush.’ The guitars are toned down, and frontwoman Yuki Chikudate’s breathy vocals are front-and-center. This is exactly what I like, it just took some special circumstances to help me find it on my own. It turns out they’ve recorded a session for Daytrotter, a music site that’s welcomed a couple home-state friends (singer-songwriter Caleb Engstrom and indie rockers The Beat Strings). From the Daytrotter write-up:
“The only poster thats garnered a mention is the poster that we received from Asobi Seksu on this day in late January (the 26 th of the year 2007). One out of every three or four bands through our door has posed the question, Asobi Seksu recorded here?’
And here’s the video for ‘Me and Mary,’ the first single off the album with animation done in-camera (no green screens) by Brooklyn illustrator Dan-ah Kim and put together with the help of director Aaron Stewart-Ahn. Polyvinyl’s press info mentions the two met while working on a project for director Michel Gondry, presumably something for Be Kind Rewind as Stewart-Ahn discusses on his blog for Giant Robot.
Kim and Stewart-Ahn