Asobi Seksu
Asobi Seksu Asobi Seksu presents its new album, Citrus: eleven slices of guitar-swirling, sweet-and-sour, bilingual dream pop. Frontwoman Yuki’s voice is more assured than ever, swinging from a girlish falsetto to plaintive laments and switching effortlessly between Japanese and English lyrics, all the while anchored by the lush, turbulent guitar of James Hanna. This is the sound of a band coming into its own, and having fun doing it.

Asobi Seksu (colloquial Japanese for “playful sex”) released its debut album in 2004 to significant critical acclaim, winning rave reviews from the New York Times, Nylon, Under the Radar, YRB, and XLR8R, among others; scoring a #1 video on mtvU’s Dean’s List with the song “Walk on the Moon;” garnering a top ten spot on CMJ’s radio charts; and becoming an instant favorite in the NYC scene, playing packed shows at the Bowery, Knitting Factory, and Mercury Lounge.

For its second album, the band regrouped with a new rhythm section and headed into Gigantic Studios in New York to record with producer Chris Zane (Les Savy Fav, Calla, the Cloud Room). The result is tremendous: a powerful, sweeping album, sung in both English and Japanese, that showcases Yuki and James’ ever-growing songwriting skills. Once again, designer Sean McCabe (Interpol, Spoon, Mates of State) has created a stunningly psychedelic visual aesthetic for Citrus that further brings to life the band’s vision.

Asobi Seksu have always been masters at creating musical textures; gauzy, cloudy dreamscapes for their slower songs and squalls of guitar and daisy-chained effect pedals for their barnstormers. What truly distinguishes Citrus, though, is that the band has now married this ability to a finely honed pop sensibility. The songs here aren’t just “pretty,” they’re melodically rich and incredibly catchy. As their captivating live show attests, Asobi Seksu have outgrown the comparisons to My Bloody Valentine and Lush, and have finally realized their potential as one of New York’s greatest bands. True to its name, Citrus is every bit as sweet and delicious as it sounds.