When I first heard about Asobi Seksu in 2004, it was all the buzzwords that got me interested in them; shoegaze, dream pop, noise pop, swirling guitars, japanese girl singer. You know, stuff like that. I picked up their self-titled debut album and was underwhelmed, to say the least. I caught fleeting glimpses of something beautiful (Sooner, I'm Happy But You Don't Like Me) but, despite the great cover image, that album came off as unfinished or incomplete. I ended up putting it on the shelf and forgetting about it.
Fast forward to the spring of 2006, I had read somewhere that Asobi Seksu were about to drop a new album, Citrus. I was curious, but it wasn't something I was eagerly awaiting. A few weeks later, I lazily clicked on a preview of one of the new tracks, New Years. Holy shit, I was blown away. I think I put it on a mix for someone with a similar taste for such things (Jen R?), and she was enthralled as well.
Everything is there; crystal clear production, towering walls of fuzzy guitars, hooks for days, driving bass-lines, ethereal vocals (in Japanese as well as English). It is the perfect combination, and all the songs are really great. I swear, once I finally got a hold of a copy, I pretty much listened to it at least once a day for a year. I still enjoy listening to it and I still get chills at certain parts of certain songs. I totally have no problem recommending it to anyone.
For this, I'm tempted to post my favorite, Red Sea. Or maybe the unabashedly My Bloody Valentine inspired, Pink Cloud Tracing Paper. Or the haunting and soaring, Thursday. Any of those would be worth a listen. However, I'm going to drop New Years here, as it was the first song from Citrus that I heard. Honestly, though, there's not a bad track on this album. Only three years later, I daresay it's a classic. Seriously, I'll be rockin' this til I die.
Asobi Seksu > New Years