ミツメ Mitsume

ミツメ Mitsume proclaims an orthodox character in the Japanese rock scene. Floating between indie and shoegaze territories, the young Tokyo four-piece rock band has embraced greater attention after every new record.

Their indie/dream pop personality is pronounced by luxurious tracks like ‘Disco’. A clear and simple propulsion from the humble electric guitar fuels the left side of the audible field, while on the right, a jangling guitar riff injects a seamless touch of surf rock. Echoes of The Jesus and Mary Chain’s vocal style reverberate from Moto Kawabe’s serene vocal line.

Both うつろ ‘Utsuro’ (‘Hollow’) and ブルーハワイ ‘Blue Hawaii’ coax an out-of-the-ordinary atmosphere in drastically different ways. The former sets the time machine to the 70s and 80s with an earthy bass and drum line and twangy psychedelic guitar textures that encroaches on the left ear. On the other hand, the latter fills out the sonic space with minimalistic electric guitar lines and riffs, colourful drum and percussion timbres spread out in the stereo field and the beautifully indolent backing vocals and main vocal melody.

The vintage façade that lies in front of them is further portrayed, but also to an extent conflicted by 煙突 ‘Entotsu’ (‘Chimney). The opening bass guitar riff and slow tempo drumbeat exudes the track’s nostalgic realm. The band offsets the orthodox rock backdrop with ethereal and smoky synth textures to coax up a strong trance-like atmosphere. One may imagine in a live show the quartet to transform from their humble indie shell into a more atmospheric, ruminative ensemble.

Mitsume have surely validated their reputation as one of Japan’s most promising bands to emerge in the focus of the wider audience, and injected new blood in the Japanese indie landscape.

Other Listening:

  • めまい ‘Memai’ (‘Vertigo’)
  • cider cider
  • クラゲ ‘Kurage’ (‘Jellyfish’)

© Isaku Takahashi

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