Sammy the Seal

“Out of step with this world”

In music videos, vinyl on Thursday, 30 June, 2011 at 2:08

Song: Layers
Artist: Asobi Seksu
Album: Hush

Man, did that bout of Asobi withdrawal/relapse hit hard from out of nowhere. I get home, have a song lined up, then, all of a sudden, I play Hush twice in a row. I felt nostalgic, even though it had only been a few weeks. Relatively, this isn’t their strongest album, but I’m also not going to whine that it doesn’t sound like their self-titled debut or Citrus. I understand the latter was their breakthrough, and people fall in love with the first thing they know, but open your minds, people. I had similar reservations (it felt like background music initially), but given time, I like the direction they took on this album. It was admirable and a bit daring to strip away all the fuzz and extra noise that made everyone first fall in love, to create something clean and crystalline, that doesn’t necessarily wash over you, but is no less dreamy.

Case in point: gorgeous opening track “Layers”, with its sparkling tones and wintry imagery, comes off as a warm ray of sunshine on a cold, snowy day. It represents well the tone of the album, which is cool and icy on the surface but glows underneath. Not to beat the seasonal metaphors into the ground, but it’s as winter on the downward slope into spring. That tone is kinda hard to miss here, what with the chimes and bells, but it almost makes me long for winter here on June 30. And what would a pretty Asobi Seksu track be without brawny drums? 2:43 right on cue, thank you. What could have been merely sweet now has a little muscle behind it too.

Sparse, spare, but effective lyrics. Almost got them all myself, just missed though. Oh darn.

“Dining on a rooftop
icicles growing slowly
near my lantern
taking their time
guiding me home with their smile

under layers (x8)

__________ (so frustrated I couldn’t decipher this part, I got all the rest)
sinking slightly
beating down my own world
shining backdrops
raining brightly
out of step with this world”

The drums could’ve been softer, but who care when you can see how Yuki’s fingers flutter on the keys.

I know it was a new song at the time, but notice the less-than-enthusiastic response from the crowd 😦  In fairness, the sound of Hush probably doesn’t seem like it would translate as well into a rock setting as the other albums, though I personally would disagree with that.


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