A certain mystery clouds Asobi Seksu, as each note the New York outfit delivers reveals very little about the four-piece; each is shadowed behind heaps of ethereality, atmosphere and reverb. The plaintive pop engendering from a good quiet strum in one’s room is there, but the production and mood constructed to bellow in and out of the piece overshadows everything else, leaving the core a bit blurry and enticing.
Knowing too much can make life dull, though, and ruin the surprises and the hidden dreams buried within everyday realities. This ethos is crowned king, as both songs here - ‘Thursday’ and ‘New Years’ - leave much to the imagination of the listener, both lyrically and melodically. Both are true treats to listen to; both are dreamy, moody and atmospheric, melancholic even. But deep down the listener knows that they’re much, much more.
‘Thursday’ is more confusing than ‘New Years’, because it reveals less. Lead singer Yuki is difficult to understand, in either English or Japanese – she switches in an entirely deliberate fashion – leaving the metaphors peering through these tracks mysterious. ‘New Years’ is more upbeat and leg-swinging, but much of it is sung in Japanese. I do not speak Japanese: once again, colour me confused.
Still, I like being confused, stuck at trying to verbalise the intangibles within Asobi Seksu, something I feel I am failing at here. Whatever this is, whatever this means, it is good stuff, if difficult to interpret, understand or theorize. Sometimes the best ideas are left unsaid.
8Shain Shapiro's Score