Album Review: Sound Of Shizuka's 'Hikari No Mae Ni' Is A Sweet, Wholesome Blend Of Lullaby And Folk
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Album Review: Sound Of Shizuka's 'Hikari No Mae Ni' Is A Sweet, Wholesome Blend Of Lullaby And Folk

The debut project from Sound of Shizuka pioneers a new genre: kitchen-table-lullaby-folk-pop

Album Review: Sound Of Shizuka's 'Hikari No Mae Ni' Is A Sweet, Wholesome Blend Of Lullaby And Folk

The debut album from Sound of Shizuka, 'Hikari no mae ni,' ('In front of Hikari') was conceived and delivered in tandem with the eccentric Japanese couple's first-born son, Hikari ('Light'), who made his arrival just in time for Christmas 2020. During a time of great tumult and uncertainty, amplified by the lockdowns and quarantines that are now part and parcel of daily life, an artistic tour-de-force unfolded at the kitchen table; in a quiet nook of Tokyo, in the presence of a few instruments and a selection of organic homegrown vegetables. The seasoned musical stylings of Anna Ozawa -- a triple-threat veteran of the keyboard, melodica, and vocals -- who was once the first and only Japanese member of The Slits and mentored by the legendary Ari-Up-- blossom in the presence of DJ Shota Kawai's pleasing guitar plucking and playful singing. The album defies genre, featuring poppy lullabies, piano ballads, improvisational guitar, and an overall punk-rock break-the-rules sort of convention, albeit in a cute and charming Japanese folk music sort of way.

The rough-around-the-edges, 'demo-reel' appeal of many of the songs, including 'Sayonara Natsumikan,' -- which appears to be a playful ode to a tangerine -- and 'Eien No Ai Uta', ('Forever love song') which features infectious giggling to compliment the simple, meandering lyrics is charming and touchingly sweet. Whimsical percussive elements such as xylophone and güiro add not only tonal variety but childlike wonder. One can easily imagine the happy parents serenading the baby.

'Maboroshi', for me, is a real stunner, and the stand-out track. The couple harmonizes perfectly, and one can feel the joy, hope, and longing when Ozawa sings 'kokoro' (heart,) welcoming her future child with the pure optimism unique only to a new mom.

With many songs recorded on iPhone, forgotten about, and then revisited in the presence of snacks, the project was initially meant to be just for fun, and a personal enterprise never to be shared. The happy news of Hikari's arrival brought the project to the light. I believe Sound of Shizuka is pioneering a new, experimental genre -- one where we don't fuss over sticking to a genre or striving for perfection, but allow an intimate peek into our mundane, beautifully human lives.

Stream 'Hikari no mae ni' on Bandcamp

Follow Sound of Shizuka on Instagram

Watch 'Anna Ozawa Illuminator,' a 2014 documentary featuring Anna Ozawa

SOUND OF SHIZUKAのデビューアルバム「ひかりの前に」は、2020年のクリスマスに間に合うように到着した風変わりな日本人夫婦の長男ひかりと一緒に考案され、配信されました。そして、今や日常生活の一部となっている封鎖と検疫によって増幅された不確実性、芸術的なツアー・デ・フォースが台所のテーブルで繰り広げられました。
東京の静かな場所で、いくつかの楽器と厳選されたオーガニックの自家製農産物があります。かつてスリッツの最初で唯一の日本人メンバーであり、伝説のアリアップによって指導された、キーボード、メロディカ、ボーカル楽器のトリプル脅威のベテランである小沢アンナのベテランの音楽スタイリングは、 DJ ShotaKawaiの心地よいギターの弾きと遊び心のある歌の存在。

ひかりの到着の幸せなニュースは、プロジェクトを明るみに出しました。 Sound of Shizukaは、新しい実験的なジャンルを開拓していると思います。
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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