Asobi Seksu - Hush
Most days the flap of the mail box generally brings me misery and the odd feeling of dread. Bank statements of a less than healthy demeanour, bills and a whopping pile of junk mail stare up at me, mocking me almost. Yesterday something was different, my daily postal depression was given a monstrous shot of seratonin because Asobi Seksu’s new album ‘Hush’ was nestled in between the bills and 10p off coupons. I’ve been looking forward to receiving this ever since release dates were announced and now my day is off to a flyer; take that Barclays, I’ve got Asobi Seksu and you can’t charge me interest on that!
For the unacquainted, Asobi Seksu hail from the US and revolve around core members James Hanna (guitars/vocals) and Yuki Chikudate (lead vocals/keyboards) who announced their arrival with the release of their self-titled debut in 2004. Imagine strains of My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Jesus & Mary Chain and Mazzy Star all put in a blender, whiz….and you get the idea; ‘Asobi Seksu’ was a noisy affair with Yuki’s sweet vocals floating in and out of the layered guitars. 2006’s ‘Citrus’ saw the band allowing their pop sensibilities to filter through the wall of sound gaining the band gushing reviews and fans in the process.
‘Hush’ sees the band having stripped down and re-built their sound from the ground up; the multi-layered guitars have been brought down and Yuki’s vocals have a much more prominent position in things. The overall sound is warm and inviting whilst still retaining the edge that caught peoples attention in the first place. Forget the ‘shoe gazing’ tags that the band have invited in the past, this is pure dreamy pop, dripping with class and vitality. Album opener ‘Layers’ washes over you with it’s haunting vocals and ambitious sound; the sonic equivalent of an afternoon spent in the sun. It becomes apparent at just how much progress the band have made with ‘Familiar Light’, it’s big, bold and quite frankly one of the best things I’ve heard so far this year. It has a sky scraper chorus that literally explodes in sound and covers you in its fluffy brilliance.
Forthcoming single ‘Me & Mary’ harks back to the early nineties with its fuzzy guitar pop and fast paced rhythm. ‘Gliss’ and ‘Sing Tomorrow’s Praise’ are the band at their stripped down best, angelic vocals dance with minimal guitars and skipping drums. The wonderfully addictive ‘Mehnomae’ reels you in further and further with each repeat listen, coating your eardrums in its golden sounds. The whole album is built around a glorious wall of sound that wraps itself around you.
Asobi Seksu have really delivered with ‘Hush’, it’s exciting, compelling and full of joyous pop songs that can’t help but make you smile.