SAKA-SAMA is most-certainly an encapsulation of what we think of when we discuss the ups-and-downs and side-to-sides of this whole idol business. This group has run a full gamut of graduations and roster configurations, all while maintaining a musical vision that alters just as much as the member incarnations. There’s only one thing about the lo-fi dream pop idols that has stayed consistent, and that’s Suzuki Kokone, the leader and sole founding member of the group…
— タワーレコード錦糸町パルコ店 (@TOWER_Kinshicho) August 1, 2020
Kokone’s perennial presence in SAKA-SAMA has now paid-off for her (And for us, too.) with her first solo release! While Kokone has dabbled with some solo lives while playing her guitar, this marks the first actual catalogued TRASH-UP!! recording by her. (There may have been some solo CDRs sold at live shows perhaps, but I can’t quite recall.) “FEVER” is a six-track mini-album now available through TRASH-UP!!’s online store.
And right along with that welcome news, we’ve also been gifted this delightful MV of the title track! The video is very much in keeping with the sort of whimsy one would expect from a TRASH-UP!! solo artist. Tell ya what, why don’t give it a watch if you haven’t already…
You see what I mean, right? It’s an adorable and playful romp that you fans of SAKA-SAMA and Kai’s solo work should certainly enjoy immensely. I’m a big fan of the single-tracking-shot school of video cinematography, and also love the back-up dancers in this too. And Suzuki looks like she really had a lot of fun shooting this, just running with the moment and leisurely enjoying herself. I loved it when she joined into the choreography!
Also, what a terrific song! I dig that light “Lovers Rock” reggae vibe that shines through this. It’s such a breezy, perfect song for the last month of summertime. It was written and arranged by members of the Tokyo band bjons. I’ll be including this on my shortlist for “Song of the Year” in the Homicidols Best-Of nominations for certain!
But the gift keeps on giving! For a very limited amount of time (Until August 7th!) you can listen to a full lo-fi preview of the entire album! Like I said, you don’t have long, so I’d put aside some time urgently soon so you can hear for yourself how good this is… like right now perhaps!
There’s a lot of other songwriting talent at work here too, including Daisuke Adachi who has previously written songs for SAKA-SAMA and Kai, and also produced solo-singles for Kaede of Negicco! (What a resume!)
And don’t miss track four on here (The 11:55 mark) It’s a cover of a song by the late-80’s-early 90’s band BO GUMBOS. This also includes a new arrangement by Daisuke. For a comparison, here’s the original version for you to enjoy…
Oh, that fifth track on here (The title translates to “Righty Wright”?) sure sounds like an instrumental, but there are very deeply embedded whispered vocals in the mix. I’m thinking that’ll be more apparent in the full-audio quality release.
All-in-all, I have to say I absolutely love this mini-album and will definitely purchase it whenever I’m able to! I don’t know the full availability just yet, so I can’t say if it’ll require any special effort to buy a tangible copy, (It’s listed on the TRASH-UP!! store only as of right now.) but do I think it’s possible that OTOTOY may have a digital version online later. It may or may not ever reach a streaming service though, TRASH-UP!! varies on how widely they cast their music out.
Also, don’t forget, as I’ve shouted out before, that SAKA-SAMA’s album “Daydream” is easily one the best albums of 2020! If you end up spending the dough to get a copy of the excellent mini-album, you could do no wrong by doubling down and getting that as well! It’s been a rocky road of a year, but gosh-darn-it, SAKA-SAMA and Kokone are sure making things a little easier…