So last week, while writing up my own little contribution to our ongoing all-time top 50 albums project, I was re-listening to Shihatsu-machi Underground’s self-titled for probably the 100th time and casually adding them to the list of groups that, going into 2020, really felt like they might be on the cusp of great things (before, you know). And I won’t walk that back because I’m a fan, though I will allow that a certain bias may tinge the perspective — the whole reason that Shihatsu-machi made it onto our countdown at all is because of the unique alignment of the people on Team and the spectrum of tastes among us; obviously we aren’t talking about a hugely influential group or release here (not yet), but rather one that holds up in our opinion as just being remarkably good.
What does that have to do with the right now? Just that I can’t think of a project who I’d more want to extend a ton of resources to. Need cash? Booking support? Songwriters? Live musicians? Quirky merch? Let me help. And the reason, to round back to that whole bias thing, is that I love this unit so much. Every time I listen to their stuff, all I want is to hear more of it. Hell, just two weeks ago I was trying to play a couple of tracks on my phone with the volume up in a very loud place because I wanted to get someone else to appreciate them, too! And so I lament that there isn’t always more Shihatsu-machi to listen to, that the stresses of indie idol preclude their having a more extensive catalog, that the official media available at any given time is a small fraction of what I wish I could consume. And if I could fix that for them, I’d do it.
But to speak more pointedly: Arguably the best thing about Shihatsu-machi to date is that they go more for a total sonic experience moreso than adhere to particular genre norms. Just listen to their self-titled, or browse their singles. It all “sounds like them” with very few of the tracks actually being all that relatable in terms of their musical style! And that’s awesome. Brave even. The kind of thing that idols are uniquely equipped to pull off (you’re selling your performance as much as anything, so why not take some chances?). I love it.
And all of that is to say that I got extremely geeked up to see “MV” mentioned next to Shihatsu-machi’s name and was somehow still completely surprised at where this song landed:
That doesn’t sound like what I was expecting at all!
Enjoy it. Love my favorite thing with me. Let’s have a great week.