Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered and mastered by Matt Oliver
It seems like there's a mission surrounding or that's being implied in the Asobi Seksu song, "Trails." Off the band's latest album, "Fluorescence," the song is a huge tidal wave of sound, smashing against a coast unseen. It's an unrelenting storm and if it weren't so oddly joyous, it would sound like one of the most furious displays of aggression or jitteriness that one had ever heard. It doesn't sweep you off your feet. It sets your feet and the ground they're standing upon on fire. It's as if a dribbled out line of gasoline has been left all over the places that the song wants to take us. It's got something that it wants us to see and then, in the places where it feels the time is right, a lit match is thrown down and the scene gets torched. It gets hotter than we can stand and we have to retreat some, back behind some cover, back to a safe distance, though we aren't about to take our eyes or ears off of what's happening with all that gasoline and fire. We want to see what's going to happen next and we want to see how damned hot the flames can get before we have to move back some more. It doesn't appear that the fire itself is what's been planned for the song, however. We think that singer/keyboardist Yuki Chikudate and guitarist/singer James Hanna have grander ideas. It's a song that sounds as if the idea is to take control of all lights, everything that produces or plays with light. It's like there's a hustle going on, a reclamation of or a heist of the sun, the moon, all of the chandeliers, all of the disco balls and mirrors, all of the flashlights and ocean surfaces, all of the campfires and candles. It's taking everything and throwing it into a bottomless sack. It's being done with no intention of using the light elsewhere. It's just a desire to control all of the light and to get it before anyone's wise to it. Chikudate and Hanna are good pursuers and users of light and we think that's why they want it. They find a way to make darkness into light, with Chikudate's cooing vocals, tucked into the swells of sound like wonderful little treasures. You can immediately understand the kinds of things that she can do with bits of moonlight or ribbons of sun, broken glass reflections of the tales that are sneaking out of the black abyss.