A Moment with Oomori Seiko

Seiko Oomori Zettai Shoujo cover

I thought I’d try something a little different this evening. Life for me is very hectic at the moment, but this blog has been on my mind! Tonight I’d like to talk about an artist that I’ve recently become really interested in: Oomori Seiko (大森靖子). The picture above (it’s the cover for her second album, “Zettai Shoujo” released on 11th December 2013) is a little misleading, yet at the same time a painstakingly accurate portrayal of the experience that Seiko gives and wants to present to the listener. Some thoughts and other stuff under the cut!

I suppose I took it upon myself to write this because Seiko is pretty “new”, and incredibly good at being elusive to foreign fans. She has a fairly large online presence, but – for now hopefully – her overseas fans seem few and far between so there hasn’t been exactly a wealth of information available for English speakers. Now, I am in no way taking it upon myself to impart said information, however to celebrate her new album a special page has surfaced on her website here, which details what I considered to be some neat snippets of information about her. Seiko hopes to encompass all women (she really loves girls), from OLs to old hags to idols. Shaky translation of her likes/dislikes below!

Part of the attraction of Seiko to me was (and is) that we quite obviously share a lot of tastes. She’s quite obviously a Jun Togawa fan judging by her raspy and erratic – but heart wrenching – vocals, her first album cover is a definite homage to this Shiina Ringo masterpiece and lastly, she is a massive, massive idol fan. I’m not talking simply idols around today (although she loves those too, and performed at Tokyo Idol Festival this year), but the golden oldies of yesteryear that basically consumed and shaped me into the J-pop fan I am today. I’m talking about her cover of C-ute, her self-confessed adoration of Sayumi Michishige and Morning Musume, and her upcoming cover of I & YOU & I &YOU & I (a classic!) by Tanpopo on her second album. This was exciting to me because all of these factors make it obvious where Seiko has drawn her influence from, and I love it when artists divulge information like this because it reveals a special cog in the creative process. It also makes them so much more accessible and human, a trait I see integral to Seiko’s music. It’s so warm, emotional, eccentric, desperate… an artist you can seriously get lost in.

That said, her music is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It takes time to love – but that’s part of its beauty. Here’s her set from Tokyo Idol Festival, and if her earnest banging away of her guitar isn’t enough, here’s the first track from her debut album (“Mahou ga Tsukaenai nara Shinitai”). And for kicks, a sample of said album. If you’re looking for something alternative that you can sink your teeth into, and enjoy different female singers, I urge you to give Seiko a try.

This is taken from the promotional site above. It’s just a basic little list, but I think it gives a cute reflection Seiko. It’s heartening to read her go so in depth and engage with her fanbase.

Likes:
Sayumi Michishige, the colour pink, Sanrio, flowers, unhealthy-coloured candy, blood, bras, circular/round things, fluffy beds, idols, guitar-related strings, chords and bows, finely detailed descriptions, cement hardening, sweet things, Febreze, Magical Girls, the fans, rubber rings, mics, Family Mart Spicy Chicken, selfies of girls, convenience stores, 4.44AM, Death Proof, guerrilla (surprise) torrential rain, acrylic paint, people that absolutely face me, Nakano Ropeway, ‘sparkling’ sound effects, rainbow coloured morning glow, a Chinese Chengdu shop in Koenji, before opening a letter, sweet shrimp, guitar, business cards of older female hosts falling in Kabukicho, bath salts changing colour, drawing old men, lives, Daiso (100yen shop chain), Tokyo, low-quality erotic movies, eating ice cream in the bath, one-room (studio apartment), liquid from hotcakes before burning, ravens scrounging at dumping grounds, souvenirs, make-believe despair, 100 yen UFO Catcher, tissues, make-up, taxis, the age 27, strawberry yogurt, Mum, anmitsu coffee houses, girls’ upper arms, purikura, bath towels, dogs, colour tights, music, straighteners, jelly-like things, black dresses, nasal drops, shining things, parks, secret blogs, the punch-line of a dream, twintails, other people’s iPhone cases, Morning Musume.

Dislikes:
Tobacco, space, bandsmen, ignorance, the end of a movie, cleaning, anonymous bad mouthing, all ex-boyfriends, submitting a setlist, dreams about being late for graduation.

Her CDs and DVDs aren’t as freely available on sites like CDJ and YesAsia (yet!), but HMV offers them. I’ll finish this ramble with my favourite Seiko song, “Saishuukouen” (Final Performance): 

Thank you for reading! I hope to be a little more active in the coming month. It’s the end of the year which means “best-of” lists, and hopefully a look at KAT-TUN’s new mini album. 

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9 thoughts on “A Moment with Oomori Seiko

  1. ah, I was looking for a post like this! There aren’t enough people into her music currently, what a shame.

    I got her first album back in May, but it took me forever to get into it and it was only because I found out she held a joint live with Jun Togawa. Afterwards I realized just how good her music is (the fact she stans idols is a major plus), and it really is just as you described it above, raw and personal. Since idols have to fulfill specific qualities, with regards to age, relationships and personal autonomy, it’s quite interesting how Oomori’s lyrics, music and attitude onstage clash with said qualities. I feel like she could broaden the idol spectrum in a way, because she engages in idol-like activities but can’t become a full idol by definition either.
    Anyways, thanks for this blog post and the translations, hope you have a nice day :)

    1. Hi! Thank you so much for your comment, it’s messages like these that make everything worthwhile!

      Yes, I agree about it taking a while to get into it. I was determined to keep giving her a try, and I kind of abandoned it for a few months but out of the blue I gave it another spin and was blown away (those are my favourite kinds of albums!). Yeah, I get the feeling idols are something she’s been interested in since she was a young girl and have had a really interesting influence on her music… not only in a musical sense but also the cultural aspects e.g. the no-dating rule, their need to be hyperfeminine etc. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with in the future, nothing quite like the anticipation of a new artist!
      Thank you again for the comment :) have a lovely day!

      1. Oh but thanks to you for making the effort first! There’s so much variety in japanese music, but few people like it because of a lack of translated information, or feedback from blogs. As for Oomori’s album, I feel the same way, every time I listen to it I find the songs more and more superb. And yes, I’m also expecting to see what kind of things she’ll do in the future. Some people are touting her as the next Togawa (I really really love Jun), so I’m hyped for her second album.

  2. Oh i recently got really interested with her! Thanks for this post! I think doesn’t even have a wikipedia and i don’t know where to start downloading songs. Anyway do you know where can i download her singles and albums? :)

  3. I just started to get interested in her a few weeks ago. Her song “Midnight Seijun Isei Kouyuu” really got me !! But I really wanna know what the lyrics are about. I cant find the lyrics anywhere. Do you know where to find the lyrics?

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