i’ve been listening to asobi seksu‘s latest album hush for the last couple of weeks now. while the first few listens sort of faded quite benignly in the background, often as relegated to a pleasant ambience with which i’ve gone about my other mundane activities, the album has started to come to life and develop a personality of its own. the overall sound has moved away from the band’s earlier shoegaze efforts to a shinier dreampop lustre, although if you listen hard enough, the hazy noise is really still there but tucked away subtly (like at the end of songs like “gliss” and “meh no mae”). most of the songs, however, are distinctly catchier and janglier, such as in the marching pop of “familiar lights” and the irresistibly endearing “me and mary”. it’s no wonder that understated beauties like album opener “layers” often end up neglected: i can’t really figure out what vocalist yuki chikudate is really singing in this one except for the cannoning chorus of “under layers”, but it sure makes for one of the brightest starts in any album for some time, with the enveloping warmth of a summer sun and the pristine iciness of a winter’s day.
mp3: asobi seksu – layers
hush is now out on polyvinyl. go get it!