posted Jan 21, 2009, 12:17 PM by Vu Nguyen
Asobi Seksu Announce US 2009 Spring Tour
Release Debut Single "Familiar Light" From Upcoming Latest And Greatest LP
Hush Out Feb 17th On Polyvinyl Records
European & US 2009 Dates
|While Asobi Seksu's
creative core explored music at an early age (lead vocalist/keyboardist
Yuki Chikudate got standing ovations at child prodigy recitals when she
was just 8; guitarist/vocalist James Hanna bounced between sludgy
hardcore and Mogwai-schooled post-rock in his teens), their potential
'career' wasn't put into perspective until a stint at the Manhattan
School of Music. And by put into perspective, we mean finding out what
they didn't want to do.
"It was good to have something
musical to do all day, since most of my bands were like, 'Yeah, maybe
we'll practice on Saturday or something,'" explains Hanna. "Playing
someone else's music all the time seemed robotic after a while, though."
was a miracle I graduated at all," adds Yuki. "I love playing the
piano, but three hours of it—breaking it down, measure by measure, note
by note—makes my mind go numb."
Soon after escaping the
joyless world of sheet music and classical composition, Hanna began
tackling dreamy-but-disorienting soundscapes for the first time. He
quickly shifted his focus from singing to starry-eyed chords, however,
with Yuki falling into the frontwoman position without missing a beat.
The problem was trying to be an actual band, as in a fully functioning
quartet that tours and records together. Asobi Seksu
1.0 lasted between 2004's self-titled, learn-as-we-go-along debut and
the spring of 2005. Hanna and Chikudate gave it a go with another
bassist and drummer for their critically-acclaimed breakthrough, 2006's
Citrus LP, but it didn't take long to realize that lineup was doomed as
Which leads us to the frustration that fueled the making of Hush, the group's third LP and Polyvinyl debut. As Hanna admits, Asobi Seksu
"was starting to get somewhere" post-Citrus, but they couldn't ride a
cresting wave of hype after a debilitating cycle of touring and
"Hush was written while we felt
destroyed," explains Hanna, quite simply. Which is funny, because the
entire record has a phoenix rising vibe to it—a clear sense of
shimmering, dew-draped riffs and spiral staircase melodies that are
occasionally blurred by bits of guitar violence and sputtering drums
(see the firework finale climax of "Me & Mary" and the liftoff
portions of "Sing Tomorrows Praise" and "Glacially").
knew we didn't want to do 7,000 reverb guitars this time," says Hanna,
"So we stripped the sound down and built it back up from there."
Another thing Asobi Seksu's
avoided is sheer shoegaze-pop revivalism. While they listen to a lot of
into-the-ether music—hence their tickets to both of My Bloody
Valentine's reunion gigs—Hanna and Chikudate are too obsessed with the
expansive possibilities of sound to explore one well-treaded path.
"Every shoegaze song is the same rhythmically," says Hanna, explaining that he'd be terribly bored if he followed that template.
parts don't propel into other parts," adds Chikudate. "Us, we meander a
little more, so it's not just one big wall of noise."
of noise? "Layers," for one, is downright gorgeous, suggesting an
afternoon spent in a gently-shaken snow globe. And then there are the
clusters of ambient Eno effects that close Hush's Technicolor curtain.
That's what happens when you learn how to use space and dynamics to
your advantage, skirting what some might refer to as "Kevin Shields
"I've realized that while something might sound
awesome in my head," explains Hanna, "Adding 50 layers to it might make
it sound like shit because you lose a lot of the details. Some parts
have only one guitar this time.
He pauses and adds with a smile, "We agonized over that guitar, though."
Feb 08 Southampton, UK @ The Talking Heads
Feb 09 London, UK @ Islington Academy (NME Awards w/Howling Bells)
Feb 10 Manchester, UK @ Roadhouse
Feb 11 Dublin, IE @ Crawdaddy
Feb 13 Belfast, UK @ Speakeasy
Feb 14 Glasgow, UK @ ABC2
Feb 15 Newcastle, UK @ The Cluny
Feb 16 Leeds, UK @ Faversham
Feb 18 Birmingham, UK @ Barfly (Dragon)
Feb 19 London, UK @ ICA
Feb 20 Amsterdam, NL @ Paradiso
Feb 21 Paris, FR @ Fleche d'Or
Feb 22 Brussels, BE @ Rotonde
Feb 24 Muenster, DE @ Gleiss 22
Feb 25 Berlin, DE @ Magnet
Mar 02 Montreal, QC @ La Sala Rossa
Mar 03 Toronto, ON @ El Mocambo
Mar 04 Pontiac, MI @ The Pike Room at Crofoot Ballroom
Mar 05 Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
Mar 06 Bloomington, IL @ Illinois Wesleyan U.-Young
Mar 07 Minneapolis, MN @ 7th Street Entry
Mar 10 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey
Mar 11 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
Mar 13 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
Mar 14 Los Angeles, CA @ Troubador
Mar 15 San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
Mar 19 Austin, TX @ SXSW
Mar 20 Austin, TX @ SXSW
Mar 21 Austin, TX @ SXSW
Mar 22 Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
Mar 23 Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
Mar 24 Memphis, TN @ Young Avenue Deli
Mar 25 Atlanta, GA @ Eyedrum
Mar 26 Chapel HIll, NC @ Local 506
Mar 28 Washington, DC @ Rock and Roll Hotel
Mar 29 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
Apr 02 New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom