Ever get fed up of your music collection? Tire of all the usual indie guitars and house beats? Well maybe you need something completely different. Something unlike anything else you have been listening to. Keep reading.
‘Hear You’ is the new album from Japanese math-rockers Toe, released on Topshelf Records. It is predominantly an instrumental album, the main theme throughout being synergy between the guitars and the drums, with a whole host on interesting sounds in to boot. This genre of music us experimental in its very nature, and this album whilst often not easy to listen to, kept me gripped and constantly wondering what was coming next. Not really sure what to expect on first listen, right from the opening bars of ‘Premonition’ & ‘A Desert Of Human’ I was gripped. As an album it works well as a complete piece of work. One track flows effortlessly into the next in perfect order. It is without doubt a fascinating album that kept me excited right up to the last song.
The few vocal tracks fit inbetween the instrumentals and break them up nicely and keep it interesting. They don’t sound unnecessary as they often can on albums like this. Instead the vocals act as another instrument. It doesn’t even matter that some of the vocals are in Japanese. It’s irrelevant. It’s the aesthetics they add to the song that make them sound great. ‘Commit Ballad’ stands out from the crowd. It’s a chilled out and mellow track with a truly beautiful and distinctive female vocal from Chara. It has all the same elements that made us fall in love with Air’s ‘All I Need’. Some titles like this seem to have been lost in translation. Along with ‘Song Silly’ which is another of the more melancholy tracks, with an instantly classic sound. Coming in at under two minutes long ‘Time Goes’ seems too short, as there just isn’t enough Japanese hip-hop around. Whilst オトトタイミングキミト introduces a different sound, replacing the guitars with a more mellow piano sound, and a sparse vocal from Kimura Kaela.
‘Hear You’ is in all an interesting and well thought out collection of songs. It’s maybe not for everyone, but it is well worth a listen. It could introduce you to a whole new genre of music to add to your collection.