It's been a while since I actually posted up w/ an actual record review, but this particular release was worthwhile enough to give a proper shout-out. Anybody who's followed the blog, knows i've been a fan of Asobi Seksu since they dropped 'Citrus' on us back in 2006. Their most recent album, while decidedly different, is no exception and continues the trend of big-time sonic quality.
Where previous albums sailed upon on a sea of My Bloody Valentine and Lush-like distortion and feedback, 'Hush' is a major departure from the band's shoegazey wheelhouse...w/ pleasant results. Guitar player, James Hanna, knocked down the 'great wall of guitars' prevalent in earlier material and shifted focus to tight, shimmering ambient pop arrangements that will give you the chills. More importantly, singer Yuki Chikudate's swirling (yet supple) vocals have been pushed to the front versus being buried amongst layers of noise.
So, earlier comparisons to MBV and Ride have been justifiably replaced w/ the Cocteau Twins...but, in my opinion, w/ an edge. A beautiful body of work from start to finish, but standout tracks for me include 'Sing Tomorrow's Praise', 'Sunshower' and 'Glacially' (featured in the AMBFAD jukebox). A perfect audio companion to keep you company until Winter turns to Spring, it's available as of today...pick it up and enjoy.