Shojoskip 少女スキップ : the happy happy band from Tokyo
Last week, we introduced you to Shojoskip's music, our happy post)gazers from Japan. Learn more about the band in this article.
Shojoskip is a band living in Tokyo, Japan. While influenced by a wide variety of music such as US Indie, Alternate, Post Rock, Shoegazer, etc, they have tried to create their own sound full of floating feeling which is both pop and emotional, infusing feelings like kindness and happiness.
They formed in 2007, and released 2 Eps in 2008 (one of them with their fellow from ”My dead girlfriend”), and a LP in 2012.
Word is that they are a Japanese band who hasn’t had a need to go outside of Japan or market overseas. As a result, there is very little that can be found in English and they have stayed known only in their country.
Why I love them
They make me happy: Shojoskip’s mission statement on their web page clearly state that happiness is the sentiment that they want to infuse into their music. Well, they succeeded. Not one song is sad or very melancholic, which goes against the flow of most bands in the genre. I like the feeling they procure, the composition tricks to keep this feeling going, the sound timbre they use to uplift the mood. It is not easy to do happy shoegaze/post-rock. Shojoskip did it.
They are not a one recipe band: While some of their songs are clearly post-rock in construction and feeling, they have also indie pop songs (i.e. “Glory of the snow”), Lo-fi songs (Tedukurinotori, which has a Stereolab feel), and more shoegazey songs (light and delight). The have more composition depth than the lightness of their music could lead us to believe
They did not fell into the imitation trap: There is often similarities in sound and dynamics in music genre we like. Shojoskip did work hard in getting their own sound, mixing raw guitar riffs with textured reverb guitar, looping bass and some synth in the background. Adding on top beautiful female lyrics and their signature touch of happiness, and you get a recognizable sound. Some weeks ago, I was listening intensively Japanese music, and every time Shojoskip came up, I recognized their sound. Not many bands can do this. Fair play to their members for reaching this goal that many bands would love to.
They make guitars talk: Not a joke. When listening in detail of intros, and guitar interactions through the pieces, there is a relation between them in dynamics as well in melody. They shift from monophony to polyphony, change in tone and melodic routes like two people talking, living side to side. It is rare enough to notice and give this lively dynamic to their songs and their sound. Chisato and Takashi succeeded where many musicians could not.
They sing in Japanese: Singing in your own language is something I love. There is a big difference in the flow of words when a singer stays. And it is much nicer and truer to the band origin. The result is that they may not get as much international recognition than if they sung in English, but it keeps their music truer to themselves.
Some good videos to watch
The band’s video for their title song is well worth watching. It features the red mask bandit. It is also the only music video of the band. They did very well. There is a mix of lightness that fits with the song very well. The red masked bandit featuring is also on their album cover. She is stealing ice creams and doing other mischiefs.
A good live video that shows the band, a both the great energy and harmony in the band, it a video found on their Youtube channel that includes both Umbrella and their Post-rock great piece “Faba beans thought to be abstract”
There is a few more live video of some concerts. They are interesting to watch to see the band together. There are also some videos (found on their Youtube channel) following them on of their first concerts: YouTube
Their presence on the web
Unfortunately for fans around the world, there is very little on Shojoskip in English on the web, as Shojoskip were happy to focus on their music and Japan. The main links are as follows:
Soon on noise Artists
Now that you know Shojoskip's music and the band, we are working on an interview. We have been unlucky as several voluntary translators did not have time to help. Thanks to Takashi and andrew for trying.
So stay tune for more....