Polyvinyl recording artist Asobi Seksu has announced the release of their highly anticipated 4th album, Fluorescence, available February 14th in UK/Europe and 15th in North America on CD, LP (Gatefold Jacket, 180 gram pink vinyl limited edition of 1,500) and digital formats. The album features the lead single, "Trails", which is available now as an MP3 download. There will also be a video for the track in early 2011. The album features artwork from acclaimed designer Vaughan Oliver (Cocteau Twins, Pixies). The album is available for pre-order now on the Polyvinyl website at www.polyvinylrecords.com/fluorescence.
The signs in Chris Zane’s studio couldn’t have been any clearer: “Don’t Overthink It” and one simple word—“BOLD.”
Or as Asobi Seksu guitarist/singer James Hanna puts it, “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 fourth proper full-length (Fluorescence) 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.
“James likes to get a lot more abstract with the music,” says Chikudate, “So Chris (Asobi Seksu’s longtime producer) will often try and reign him in.”
“I like to see how far we can take a song before pulling back a bit,” explains Hanna. “Like I’ll say that 100 vocal tracks would sound great in a spot where we only need 40.”
And since Asobi Seksu have spent the past decade refining their bombastic but beautiful blend of hailstorm hooks and fog-shrouded 4AD-isms (including last year’s special acoustic album, Rewolf), they knew exactly what to do with all of that restlessness: embrace it.
ASOBI SEKSU North American Tour:
1/27/2011 - Highline Ballroom - New York, NY*
2/17/2011 - Album Release Show at Mercury Lounge - New York, NY
2/25/2011 - Brighton Music Hall - Boston, MA**
2/26/2011 - Casa Del Popolo - Montreal, QC**
2/27/2011 - Legendary Horseshoe Tavern - Toronto, ON**
2/28/2011 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL**
3/01/2011 - 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN**
3/03/2011 - The Badlander - Missoula, MT**
3/04/2011 - Chop Suey - Seattle, WA**
3/05/2011 - Biltmore Cabaret - Vancouver, BC**
3/06/2011 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR**
3/08/2011 - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA**
3/09/2011 - Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA**
3/10/2011 - Detroit Bar - Costa Mesa, CA***
3/11/2011 - Casbah - San Diego, CA***
3/12/2011 - Neon Reverb Festival - Las Vegas, NV***
3/13/2011 - Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ***
3/14/2011 - Corazon - Santa Fe, NM***
3/22/2011 - The End - Nashville, TN****
3/23/2011 - Pilot Light - Knoxville, TN****
3/24/2011 - Strange Matter - Richmond, VA****
3/25/2011 - Rock and Roll Hotel - Washington, D.C.****
3/26/2011 - Johnny Brendas - Philadelphia, PA****
*w/ White Lies