Asobi Seksu is
Billy Pavone, bass
Larry Gorman, drums
The signs in Chris Zane’s studio couldn’t have been any clearer: “Don’t Overthink It” and one simple word—“BOLD.”
Or as Asobi Seksu guitarist/singer James Hanna puts it, “This time, our agenda was to not have one at all; to be mellow about the entire process instead of obsessing over everything.”
Maybe mellow isn’t the right word, unless he’s comparing the band’s fourth proper full-length (Fluorescence) to a coiled-up cobra or unconscious crocodile— temperamental types that are one false move away from striking. After all, “Coming Up” sets the scene by plowing into beehive-like synth lines and warp speed washes of dream-pop that leave you wondering just what the hell is going on.
Things don’t let up on “Trails” either, as singer/keyboardist Yuki Chikudate sets her immaculate melodies against a barrage of battery-powered chords. Catchy and chaotic to the core, the sky-scraping song pays homage to the pitch-perfect songwriting of the ‘60s by chartering a yellow submarine to the moon. And when the Brooklyn-based quartet (rounded out by bassist Billy Pavone and drummer Larry Gorman) finally hits the ground, their color-saturated soundscapes don’t get dull or cold. They get even brighter, asFluorescence’s many shades shift with each passing song. That includes everything from the expansive/erratic—and yet, oh-so- poppy—prog movements of “Leave the Drummer Out There” to the weightless balladry of “Ocean,” a track that channels its title with swollen synths and beats that bob and weave through the murkiest waters around. “James likes to get a lot more abstract with the music,” says Chikudate, “So Chris (Asobi Seksu’s longtime producer) will often try and reign him in.” “I like to see how far we can take a song before pulling back a bit,” explains Hanna. “Like I’ll say that 100 vocal tracks would sound great in a spot where we only need 40.” And since Asobi Seksu have spent the past decade refining their bombastic but beautiful blend of hailstorm hooks and fog-shrouded 4AD-isms (including last year’s special acoustic album, Rewolf), they knew exactly what to do with all of that restlessness: embrace it.
Asobi Seksu Cover of "Never Understand" featured on Heart is a Spade
Asobi Seksu's Cover of "Never Understand" featured on Prefix
Asobi Seksu Debuts Perfectly Crystal Video on Daily Candy
Asobi Seksu Daytrotter Session
Asob Seksu do "Little House of Savages (Walkmen cover)" on Pitchfork Lead Track
Asobi Seksu performance on KEXP
Asobi Seksu featured on Spinner's Top 100 SXSW Artists
Asobi Seksu album review from SPIN
Asobi Seksu's new track "Trails" on Spinner
Asobi Seksu makes Stereogum's 50 most anticipated albums of 2011
Asobi Seksu album "Fluorescence" reviewed in Consequence of Sound.
Asobi Seksu featured in Time Out Hong Kong
Asobi Seksu live in the KEXP Olympic Studios
Asobi Seksu at Le Poisson Rouge
Asobi Seksu performs on Morning Becomes Eclectic