Features artwork by acclaimed designer Vaughan Oliver (Cocteau Twins, Pixies).
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.
1Coming Up (4:03)
3My Baby (3:34)
4Perfectly Crystal (3:48)
5In My Head (2:55)
6Leave The Drummer Out There (6:42)
8Deep Weird Sleep (1:55)
11Trance Out (2:43)
12Pink Light (4:28)
The New York Times
What was once called shoegazer rock - shimmering, multilayered guitars enfolding confessions of longing and ambiguity - is back in Asobi Seksu, a New York band that wraps its guitars and keyboard around well-made pop melodies and the girlish ache of Yuki Chikudate's voice.
Fluorescence, their fourth studio album, has an overwhelming brightness -- neon synth squiggles illuminate the shoegaze surge of "Counterglow," while epic centerpiece "Leave the Drummer Out There" is spotlighted by said instrument's crisp martial beat.
FILTERFluorescence is loud, honest, ambitious and fantastic.
Consequence of Sound
Asobi Seksu is better than ever.
... Introduce people to their new favorite album. [5/5 Stars]
Since their 2004 debut, the dreamy duo has been steadily raising its profile through well-received releases; Fluorescence looks likely to continue that trajectory with ease.
Asobi Seksu still does what they're best at on Fluorescence—delicate and at times howling jam-out fuzz-pop.
A return to form.
Eye WeeklyA downright shimmering album.
Beloved the world over.
First Coast NewsFluorescence is probably the most beautiful record you'll hear all year.
Trails (4:03)Eric Lin
Perfectly Crystal (3:53)Billy Pavone