Asobi Seksu – Fluorescence Album Review

NYC-based foursome Asobi Seksu — meaning “casual sex” in Japanese — released its newest album, Fluorescence, on February 15th. The dream pop escapist melodies are made for cruising the coast with a lover or plunging headfirst into an icy ocean of emotion and despair, making the gauzy tracks a well-timed drop for the day after Valentine’s. Shoegaze is basically the Choose Your Own Adventure series’ music genre of choice, and Fluorescence fits the part.

“Coming Up” leads off the album with drums rolls and Yuki Chikudate’s lofty, ethereal vocals. Chikudate’s high-pitched, quickly paced lyrics are offset by guitarist and vocalist James Hanna’s more subdued, softer verses. Track 7, “Ocean,” flutters through with distorted keyboard and muted electric bass effectively creating a rolling, wave-like melody.

Listen to “Trails (Deerhoof Remix)” – DOWNLOAD MP3

Lead-off single “Trails” carries indistinguishable guitars and is heavy with off-pitch vocals, but don’t give up on this track too quickly. Looking over my first-listen notes, I see that I jotted down “too cray-cray” and moved on. Unstable, even in this subgenre, it took some time to fully appreciate the complexities at work in this track.

Fluorescence is best digested in proper track succession, in its entirety. Describing any album track by track can be misleading, but it is especially true with this record. Find an album stream and do your thing — whatever your thing may be. You’ll soon see that Fluorescence fits; this music shapeshifts.

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