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.
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.
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.
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.