[sic] Magazine

Asobi Seksu – Hush

Despite naming themselves after a Japanese term for “casual sex”, Asobi Seksu aren’t a group who are likely to stir up much controversy. Instead, the New York-based quartet satisfy themselves with their own take on the dreampop sound. ‘Hush’, their third album, is an eventful and sporadically great record which should keep shoegaze fans happy enough.

The opening strains of ‘Layers’ show that much of what Asobi Seksu do is gorgeous. ‘Familiar Light’ is an equally fine track, which sways between the melancholia and childlike awe of the verses and some urgent, heart-bursting choruses. Meanwhile, ‘Transparence’ and ‘Glacially’ cherry pick from 1980’s indie-pop and the distorted melodies of My Bloody Valentine respectively and the last song ‘Blind Little Rain’ is a brilliant, lovelorn track with a Spector-esque production.

Not all is perfect in Asobi Seksu’s world though. Yuki Chikudate’s voice is certainly a thing of beauty and purity, which makes you wonder why the band often decide to muddy the waters with some OTT arrangements that often undermine the singer’s performance. ‘In The Sky’ is a case in point where Chikudate varies her tone between doleful and euphoric but the song is spoiled by an overblown coda. Furthermore, ‘Me & Mary’ ends messily and ‘Gliss’ uses a theremin but otherwise fails to engage the ears.

‘Hush’ works well most of the time but the band’s desire to experiment can delights and frustrate in equal measure. After three albums you would have thought the band would have figured out what they do well and what they’re not so good at. Perhaps the solution will be revealed by album number four.



For more from Jon, please read his ‘zine Leonards Lair