Are there, like, a lot of oppressive nun-led all-girls Catholic schools in Japan?
So let’s do the math: They’re in the mix for Album of the Year, plus right here arguably Song of the Year and Video of the Year, will visit the USA in August and may yet be able to release another record? Yeah, they’re killing 2018. Continue reading →
In the spirit of elevating more of the very smartest voices among us, I asked Babymetal megashow-attender and Corenament almost-winnerDaeMetal to share his impressions. As one of the few people alive who may love YSM more than me, I’m sure that this will be a completely unbiased exercise. Take it away, Mr. 444!
One of the primary goals of my most recent trip to Japan was to witness as many Yanakoto Sotto Mute lives as possible. I was fortunate enough to catch them three times and was happy to confirm that they are, in fact, the real deal; as Maniac dubbed them, “the idol unit that was born perfect”. Not only can they pull off their vocals live (quite a feat considering the demanding range and complex harmonies of their compositions), but their performances display an emotional range in their songs that isn’t evident from just listening to BUBBLE, their first and utterly brilliant album. Yanakoto Sotto Mute are one of those rare groups whose live performances dramatically enhance the songs, giving them additional dimensions beyond the definitive perfection of a studio recording. For those of you in the Western Hemisphere who haven’t begun making plans to see their overseas debut at East Meets West Fest in August, I encourage you to do so. Seeing YSM live is a bucket-list-worthy event. Continue reading →
Yanakoto Sotto Mute, the perfect modern idols, who will be perfectly bringing their perfect brand of perfection to the United States in lo but a few months, will be doing it with a new album, their second full:
One of the most intense reactions I ever feel to somebody else’s creative work is that of unrequited blown-away. Like, you know when you see that so-and-so did such-and-such, and your entire body loads your anticipated mind-blowingedness like a spring … and then it’s just fine? Or worse? I hate that feeling.
And, frankly, it happens a lot in idol. A performance medium in which so much of the performance that matters happens away from the most-held-up product, and that product’s deepest charms often relying on how imperfect it is, is going to tend to never quite reach the tippy-tops of emotional catharsis for all but the most devoted fans of each particular project. Lives are a particularly challenging environment for this, as so much can go wrong — the crowd is off, a singer can’t find her key, the acoustics are terrible, everybody had the fish for dinner — and a live band only adds more variables to what can be a volatile environment. Continue reading →
What a treat! In addition to my nigh-week-long sojourn in the perpetual throes of Day Job nearing its merciful end, there are two great idol projects with completely free(!) new(ish!!) downloads(!!!) to snag and enjoy like the absurd indulgences that they are.
First up! Yanakoto Sotto Mute, whose one-man the other day was probably a completely epochal occurrence that I, of course, did not attend on account of being tied not just to the United States, but the National Capital Region because boring reasons. Nonetheless, the echoes show … you know? I think it’d be keen if one of you guys scored a bunch of holographic technology, and also really high-end streaming equipment, and just streamed my favorite lives to the comfort of my living room, a life-sized Nadeshiko in among the detritus of a life spent doing little of what it’d like to be doing.
Prepare yourself for the least subtle hints and outright idol worship that you’ll ever get from me — and that’s really saying something!
I obviously love every single thing about Yanakoto Sotto Mute. Their music is tops, and the visuals from the combination of their attire and choreography are almost peerless. I do, however, keep wondering when the well is going to run dry, when the necessities of business and keeping your fans happy and making important next steps up the brutal entertainment ladder start to constrict the creative vision and limit the choices and turn one of my very favorite things into a very timid that powered as much by nostalgia as talent.
And then they add another new song to their already impossibly dynamic catalogue and I turn into a slavering fanboy: Continue reading →
The only good thing about the end of daylight saving in the parts of the United States that are especially insane for doing it in the first place? There’s a brief window in autumn when you’re awake extra-early because dawn comes at an obscene hour, and that time is surprisingly useful. Like when your favorite idols release stuff!
For instance, Yanamyu, whose every tweet carries with it the potential for me to wet myself with glee. Here’s the very aptly named “HOLY GRAiL”:
This is one of the tracks from the single (like, double A-side?) that they’re releasing at their big one-man next month. I love the point at it’s coming for them, like 1.5 years, and they’re so much more than The Nadeshiko Show now (though Nadeshiko remains one of the least appreciated greats in this whole business). Mani obviously deserves a ton of credit for emerging in her own right, but I feel like Ichika has made huge strides over the last couple of releases, too. A group may only be as strong as its leader, but a great leader can only take a group so far on her own, and Yanamyu’s in such good shape for … for, well, what we’re going to do the Fun about later!
The songwriting here’s off the damn chain, too. Did you hear that bridge? It’s a good thing that it’s so short; somebody might get hurt. YSM isn’t the only unit doing grunge/post-grunge/SEATTLE out there, though they are the best at it by a mile, and a big part of that is the serious commitment to getting the whole shebang down pat. Jeff Ament recently hosted this “Origin of the Seattle Sound” segment on Lithium, and among the topics covered was the real birth point of that insta-recognition guitar tone and halfway-distant sound in production — Yanamyu gets that stuff so right.
Lest we forget, too, that BUBBLE is easily one of the top releases this year, and I will now also take the opportunity to remind you that Yanakoto Sotto Mute are just about my favorite damn thing and I will fight you if you so much as suggest a negative in their direction.1
It kind of isn’t fair that the perfect modern idols, who are even more perfect 10 months on than I ever could have guessed, take every new milestone (a great EP!another gorgeous video!) like it’s a challenge and immediately start to work new material into their lives. This is “Holy Grail”:
Good lord. In the chat during the podcast the other day, I was (not alone!) extolling the incredible virtues of Yanakoto Sotto Mute’s “Any” MV and how it was this perfect starter for their TIF sets, and I’d said upon its release that it’s high energy and almost bright look at the world was so refreshing. That’s great! However, Yanamyu’s best material is traipsing around in the dark, damp corners of angsty psyches, invoking the feel of rainy evenings in flannel. So, “AWAKE”: