Maison Book Girl get ready for Major Debut with ‘cloudy irony’

cvnfcr4viae3nx2

Alternative Idol unit Maison Book Girl, born from the disbandment of BiS in 2014, is probably one of the most interesting projects of the last few years: bath room was a strong debut record, and this year’s summer continue EP a definitive confirmation of their potential.

As time goes by, Major labels are getting more and more interested in Idol and J-pop acts pushing the boundaries of their genres, trying to expose new and successful concepts to a wider audience. Maison Book Girl is ready to make this transition as well, with a Major debut single titled river, set to be released under Tokuma Japan Communications on November 30th.

In order to promote their mainstream debut, the four girls just released the Music Video for cloudy irony, first track off the upcoming single. In case you’re wondering, the title is not the only thing that sounds familiar here: the track too is pretty much a copy-paste of what the group did so far. Which is good and worrying at the same time.

Good because their sound is strong and enjoyable, something the track successfully represents: loud percussions and layers of acoustic guitars create a solid rhythmical base, where joyful piano melodies and the cold singing of the girls merge together pleasantly, creating a sound that’s fresh and easily enjoyable. What’s worrying, is the fact that the track sounds extremely similar to what these girls have been doing so far, especially in their latest EP, and it’s something that could easily discourage those who’ve been following the group for a while.

Still, it’s an understandable choice: the girls are taking their step in the mainstream world for the first time, and coming up with a track that sounds pure Maison Book Girl is a fair choice, sure that it will do the right job at introducing new fans to their music. Plus, the fact the label didn’t interfere in any way in both their sound and artistic direction is a very positive sign.

It’s clear that Maison Book Girl is playing it safe with this Major Debut single, and it’s totally understandable. After this release, though, fans will probably expect some kind of renovation; Their sound is fresh and easily malleable, so there’s definitely space for creativity. Knowing the talents representing this project, we keep our hopes high its future.

– Alex

Sakanaction’s new single ‘Tabun, kaze.’ sets the bar high for new album.

sakana

When someone asks me of the reason behind my love for Japanese music, Sakanaction is usually among the first few things that come to my mind. As one of the main Synth-rock/Electronic outfits of the industry, I’ve been enchanted by their sound right away, whom I discovered while driving by night through the highway connecting Kawasaki to Tokyo. The transition from the atmospherical intro Inori to the beautiful Music in their latest record, made me love their perfect hybrid of Rock merged with Electronic music immediately, giving me a pleasant sense of freshness and uniqueness.

That’s why every time Sakanaction releases new material, my day unavoidably gets better. And finally, after a two-months delay, the talented group led by frontman Ichiro Yamaguchi, released today its long awaited 12th single ‘Tabun, kaze.’ : As always, it didn’t disappoint.

The tracks in this single leans more on the Electronic side, a good choice after a series of (very good) singles that mostly relied on Rock sonorities. The title-track ‘Tabun, kaze’ is a fantastic showcase of the band’s sound, featuring synths perfectly merging with guitar melodies during the verse, developed on the solid bass lines provided by Ami; The whole track is incredibly atmospherical, and both the chorus and the bridge create immersive soundscapes, emphasized by Emi’s synths and Yamaguchi’s on-point interpretation.

This track is beautiful, emotional, huge, and a showcase of what Sakanaction can do best: impressive and atmospherical compositions disguised as simple, synth-rock numbers. Hands down one of their best compositions in the last three years.

The B-side moon will probably ring a bell to fans, since the track has been used several times in live shows from 2014 on, precisely during the highly acclaimed live sets the group always sets up halfway into the show: It’s an enjoyable, linear number that serves the purpose it was created for, which is to be implemented in mixes. The last track is a remix of the band’s classic Rookie made by Hiroshi Fujiwara, but except for a few passages here and there, it’s not something I could care about that much.

Overall, ‘Tabun, kaze.’ is yet another addition to a series of great singles from Sakanaction, who are now more than ready to drop their long awaited new album. The band never sounded this powerful and confident, and I’m anxiously looking forward to their next studio record. And if this series of singles is any indication to go with, it’s probably going to be amazing.

– Alex