Lo about six weeks ago one of 2020’s single best group debuts — I speak here, of course, of Sway Emotions Slightly, you are capable of working out these context clues — issued us a challenge: retweet the tweet X many times, and you will be progressively awarded. Now me, I’m a glutton, so if a particular personal favorite idol unit tweets out that 300 tweets are necessary to release this new MV, then you’d better damn believe that’s what I’m going for. One could say some things about how long it took to get those 300, but it definitely happened and now here we go with SES’s latest:
That’s just so … what differentiates SES from some similar units, I think, is how god-blessed truly earnest they are. Idols are often defined by their group concept, as that concept gives them the framework to perform in and gives the fans an angle to approach them with.* Some acts are more or less true to their concept than others, of course, and/or will opportunistically abandon it to suit some perceived business or social need, but the ones that really nail it in the first place and then stick to that framework are the ones who do this stuff the best, and right now I’m struggling to think of many that do it as well as SES. Their brand is excellent, the concept right there in the name, and the sum total of the music sells that so well.
But SES goes further, see. I could write some post-grunge ballads about feelings and call it a day; they wouldn’t be as good, but I’d have checked boxes and done my job, such as it is. To SES, that minimalism is anathema; while their songs aren’t maximized with sophisticated production, they’re wonderfully composed, and the members just knock them out of the park. Add that to a no-frills music video with aesthetics recalling Shoujo Kakka no International or Koutei Camera Girl featuring the members working their asses off to sell you on the theme? It’s like butter.
It’d be great if 2021 could be the year of Sway Emotions Slightly. They put out a ton of material following their debut last year, and “Open My Eyes” here is allegedly tied to an EP release that I believe was slated for February but hasn’t quite happened yet.** But let’s do it! Give us a nice selection of awesome songs that will fill us with an oddly optimistic melancholy.
*That is, if everybody plays their part; wota are far too eager to default to “idol cute” and the economics of the things therefore encourage the idols themselves to move in that direction, too
**If it has happened, then somebody send it to me!