08 September 2017

Music: Favorite Albums of August

I was thinking it'd be fun to talk about music here more. It's always been a big part of my life, but I never felt "qualified" to talk about the music I like in more detail. The more I thought about it, the less it mattered what "qualifications" I felt I needed. I came across old CDs from 2001, and a wave of nostalgia came over me. What matters to me more is remembering the music I love in the moment, so I'm sharing the albums I've been listening to a lot the past 30 days. I love scrobbling to last.fm for this very reason - it's a great way to track the music I listen to over the years (which I have been since Sept 2008!)

Peripheral Vision  Turnover

I'll start with a personally solid album from beginning to end. I first heard Turnover in my friend David's car on our way to the Miku Expo concert in Seattle. David's always down to go to concerts if our schedules line up, so we've seen Toe, the Kingdom Hearts orchestra, and Hatsune Miku as a group.  There were other concerts we went to at the same time too, notably Asian Kung-Fu Generation back in July. Eventually I want to finish those blog entries, as with many others in my drafts... Anyways, I always get great recommendations from him - Turnover being one of them. 

Peripheral Vision has this nostalgic, dreamy sound that's calming, upbeat and I love listening to it during work. I find it's really good commuter music too. The vocals are subtle, and nothing feels overpowering. When I want to listen to Turnover, I end up playing this album on repeat for a couple days. Their latest album, Good Nature, just dropped Aug 25th so I've been giving it a listen as well. I'd put both albums on here but I want to keep these posts somewhat short LOL!

Indie rock, Dream pop

Favorite tracks:

PURPLE — Spangle call Lilli line

Spangle call Lilli line has been one of my favorite bands for awhile. They were actually a very early recommendation when I was first getting into j-indie, but I could never remember their name. Finally someone mentioned it in late 2013, and I gave their SINCE 2 album a spin and thought "oh, here's what I was meant to listen to all along." 

PURPLE is a very haunting, ethereal album. "Sea" in particular is my absolute favorite track, perhaps even equaling my love for SINCE 2's "Daydreamer" (though I love both for different reasons). I like listening to this album when it rains, but mostly when I feel listless, laying in bed and watching the sun make its way across my ceiling as it begins to set. It's hard to think of more ways to describe how their music impacts me, but sometimes I feel like crying. It's very beautiful and melancholic.

Post-rock, Downtempo

Favorite Songs:

Future Friends (Part One) — Superfruit

Similar to Turnover, I first heard Superfruit's "Bad 4 Us" in Ellen's car on our way to 85c, I think. Some of my favorite bands were discovered listening in someone's car, or playing in the background at their house - something something impact something something memories and friendship. Superfruit is a music duo and comedy web show on YouTube, comprised of PENTATONIX's Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying. I haven't seen any of their non-music videos, but I do remember watching PENTATONIX on The Sing-Off all the way back in 2011. It's amazing how time flies, and where life takes everyone. Another thing that's amazing is this album art -- it's SO pleasing to the eye. Their music videos are all very fun and visually appealing. 

Superfruit is probably a sound I wouldn't get recommended to outright. I have a soft spot for this type of music though!! The minute I heard their song I knew I'd enjoy playing it during an upbeat, jamming type of mood - whether a sunny day commute, or just Spring Cleaning Sundays. I enjoy making playlists on Spotify, so I added them into my "Summer Break" playlist that I made for The Strike, Neon Trees, MIKA, and WALK THE MOON to name a few. All of their songs are really catchy and I'm excited for Part Two. Coincidentally, their new song "Hurry Up!" just uploaded onto Spotify as I wrote this. Oh man! It's real good. 


Favorite songs:

PLAY - Mukai Taichi

Mukai Taichi was a model I casually followed during my tumblr days years ago. Between Sakaguchi Kentaro (my favorite!!), Sen Mitsuji, Park Jae-Hyun, Go Sang Gil, and Mukai Taichi, there was a very distinct look that I was fond of, and it heavily influenced my designs during college. I stress and emphasize calling myself a casual fan, as I didn't know that he was also a singer-songwriter. One late night, as I was flipping through instagram stories, I came across his album cover posted by someone I followed. His name and face was so familiar, and I couldn't sleep until I looked it up. Sure enough, the photos of him that I was so fond of back then were the top hits! 

I was surprised to find his music on Spotify, and despite it ruining my scrobbling with his name written in Romaji, I stayed up a little later than intended just playing everything on repeat. He's got this firm grasp on a groovy electro feel-good sound that you can't help but smile while listening to the first track, "FLY." The album ends with "Bridge," very beautiful and anthemic, evoking a sense of hope and moving forward on a journey. At least that's what comes to mind when I listen to it - I'd like to read the translated lyrics sometimes. Something about the strength and conviction in his vocals makes me feel like I can take one step forward, over and over. Oh! And his rougher vocals at certain parts is so nice. It's really refreshing, and something I wouldn't expect from his very introspective, quiet modeling photos. This was such a serendipitous find. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a YouTube link for Bridge and 朝が来るまで, but it's all on Spotify!

R&B, Pop, Electro

Favorite Songs:
朝が来るまで (feat. Joyce Wrice)


WEDNESDAY CAMPANELLA came up while I was exploring recommended/related videos on YouTube. I can't remember how I got there - there was MONDO GROSSO, EGO-WRAPPIN', and suddenly WEDNESDAY CAMPANELLA. The first song that played from them was Ikkyu-san, which was a pretty strange but visually exciting MV. I also listened to Aladdin, and from there I was thinking about Ikkyu-san so much (I mean who doesn't?), that I checked out SUPERMAN in its entirety.

The band is comprised of vocalist KOM_I, musician and lyricist Kenmochi Hidefumi, and director Yasuhiro Fukunaga (Dir.F). I had to do a doubletake when I looked up who made up the group -- sure enough it's Hydeout Productions' very own Kenmochi Hidefumi, who I listen to alongside Nujabes, Nitsua, Uyama Hiroto, and many others. It's funny how life works that way. Maybe it's no surprise to those that are very involved and up to date with the music scene, but I found it a happy coincidence, like with Mukai Taichi's album. Their songs are incredibly catchy, especially coupled with KOM_I's soft and confident vocals.

Pop House, EDM, Electro

Favorite Songs:

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