Asobi Seksu "Fluorescence" LP
When describing the recording process for Asobi Seksu's fourth full-length, Fluorescence, guitarist James Hanna said, “This time, our agenda was to not have one at all; to be mellow about the entire process instead of obsessing over everything.” Maybe mellow isn’t the right word, unless he’s comparing the band’s new album to a coiled-up cobra or unconscious crocodile—temperamental types that are one false move away from striking. After all, “Coming Up” sets the scene by plowing into beehive-like synth lines and warp speed washes of dream-pop that leave you wondering just what the hell is going on. Things don’t let up on “Trails,” either, as singer/keyboardist Yuki Chikudate sets her immaculate melodies against a barrage of battery-powered chords.
Catchy and chaotic to the core, the sky-scraping song pays homage to the pitch-perfect songwriting of the ‘60s by chartering a yellow submarine to the moon. And when the Brooklyn-based quartet (rounded out by bassist Billy Pavone and drummer Larry Gorman) finally hits the ground, their color-saturated soundscapes don’t get dull or cold. They get even brighter, as Fluorescence’s many shades shift with each passing song. That includes everything from the expansive/erratic—and yet, oh-so-poppy—prog movements of “Leave the Drummer Out There” to the weightless balladry of “Ocean,” a track that channels its title with swollen synths and beats that bob and weave through the murkiest waters around.
Features artwork by acclaimed designer Vaughan Oliver (Cocteau Twins, Pixies).