Sammy the Seal

“This feeling just might carry on for days and leave me turning in your waves”

In vinyl on Thursday, 16 February, 2012 at 12:14

Song: Trance Out
Artist: Asobi Seksu
Album: Fluorescence

First, credit must be given to “Trails”, for providing an unlikely and unfailing source of energy to lift me when I face emotional and/or physical enervation. Somehow, my overtly hard, fast, and rockin’ music doesn’t often reach me.

This may not be “Trails”, but, as the out-and-out most spirited track on the record, it’s just as useful. Verve is always welcome, wherever and whomever it comes from. Even before James and his gee-tar buzz in at 0:11, Yuki’s voice and her tambourine are combine as a harbinger of something exciting. I don’t know if Larry Gorman only started drumming for the band on this most recent record, but what a welcome, energetic addition he is. I really like his work on each song, it’s essential. Even though there’s more drive and oomph in this song, it still demonstrates pretty well the dreamy, hazy sound the band is known for, but grounded and propelled with a bit of muscle. For example, the breakdown the second and third verses, starting at 1:25, the rhythm slows a tad and you have the airy background vocals, and you can sort of catch your breath but not really. Because when that final charge up to the last verse hits at 1:58-2:16, man, that gets me so hot. I lose it and start shaking, thrashing, and headbanging just like Yuki. Don’t you dare mistake her for some delicate Japanese flower. Her vocals are sweet, and more varied and nuanced elsewhere, (“Trails” being a great example), but they’re pretty straightforward and direct here. I especially love her melisma at the end of each Japanese verse, just before each English-language refrain. Initially awkward-sounding, but ultimately endearing.

Thanks again, Yuki, for meeting me and talking to me and autographing for my kitty. Your voice still thrills and warms my heart. I’d like to see you all again someday, we’ll rock out together.


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