If you’ve come across this blog before, then you may know that I am an ardent supporter of NYC’s, Asobi Seksu. Asobi Seksu are a band that I hate to try and place into a genre, because they at times float from dream pop to shoegaze to rock to pop to folk, and it just really messes with your head when you try to think of a tag to use on your iPod.
I first discovered them back in 2007 when I somehow (I really have no clue anymore) came across the video for their song, “Thursday” off of the album, “Citrus“. I was immediately struck by frontwoman (and my indie Queen, that’s right, fuck off Deschanel!) Yuki Chikudate‘s vocals and the shoegaze arrangement of the track. I think I listened to it about 20 times in a row that night. Then again, I was also stoned off of my ass, so that may have had something to do with that, but I digress. It’s a great tune stoned or not.
Last year, they really did something awesome in my book. They took a lot of their tunes and reworked them acoustically. I first happened upon this when I went to a show of theirs and picked up a CD that was (at the time) show-only available called “Acoustic at Olympic Studios“. The response to this, or a PR person with their label, convinced them to release these recordings as a proper album, which they did. It was entitled “Rewolf“. I never picked this one up since I have the Acoustic at Olympic disc (its the EXACT same thing as Rewolf, just one song is retitled). I am still blown away by this recording and it was in my top 3 of 2009. That’s how fucking cool it was. To hear Yuki’s vocals so in the forefront, and so crystalline, solidified them as a favorite band of mine. The rearrangement of songs that I had previously only known with tons of fuzz and feedback, stripped down to literally folky arrangements is astonishing. It really shows the musicianship and songwriting abilities of James Hanna, Yuki, and whomever they get into the band to play the other instruments at that time (the lineup changes regularly with James and Yuki the only constants).
I took a look around the net recently acquiring some radio sessions and promotional stuff that they’ve done throughout the years and compiled them into a thingy and lobbed it up here for all. There’s about 20 tracks in it, all varying sessions from full band to the stripped stuff. I especially loved the KEXP session done just this past January, so I included an audio version of that. There is a wicked video version of that set via the KEXP link. I think this compilation is a perfect introduction to this band if you’re unfamiliar. It does range through their whole existence and there is stuff from the self-titled debut, Citrus, Hush, and Rewolf especially. There are a few repeat songs, but they are all separate performances. There are also two nifty cover songs (Celeste and Never Understand).
They are heading into the studio in June, so that means we should be hearing a lot more really soon .
Definitely catch them live if you get the chance, because that cutie Yuki, she will put you into a trance, and you won’t be able to dance. Should I be a rapper? Nahhh.
Download my sessions compilation thingy here.
This is Thursday, which was my introduction and if it’s yours and you dig it, welcome to the club!