Archives for posts with tag: Los Angeles

Shunkan recording

Shunkan’s ‘Strawberry Hair’ is from an EP-length release which has been out since June. It’s a track from シュンカン I

It’s a departure from the debut EP “Honey, Blood & Milk” in that, in place of the DIY soaring ‘shoegaze’ pop, it features atmospheric electronica soundscapes, like something from a perpetual after-midnight world. But it’s no departure from “Honey, Blood & Milk” in the way it subverts a genre and creates something original and magical from what may have appeared familiar components at first.

In case you haven’t followed earlier PopLib posts on this artist, Shunkan is Marina Sakimoto, a 20 year old resident of Invercargill, but originally from Los Angeles (weird as that all sounds). Her band version of Shunkan is currently a three-guitar shoegaze maelstrom when they play live. But, as ‘Strawberry Hair’, the “Honey, Blood & Milk” EP and the ‘SUMMERBLONDE’ collection below demonstrate, Marina has an uncanny talent for crafting sublime & other-worldly pop of all shades and styles.

If you want an idea of just how good Marina Sakimoto (Shunkan) is, then check out her home recordings and demos collected here as SUMMERBLONDE and particularly the striking “goodbye future nothing, for you do not exist” or the following track “youuu”.

Marina has a ‘Spark My Potential’ fundraising campaign to gather enough to record Shunkan’s debut album “The Pink Noise” and acquire some basic backline gear to tour with. It’s a realistic amount – just $5,000 – and she’s half way there already with a few more weeks to run. Your commitment of even a modest amount towards it can help get it over the line and help ensure the album happens.

I have committed to it – Marina is a songwriter & musician I’d love to hear more from. I admire her ambition and determination and also her desire to have control over her recordings through being able to pay for them herself.

The weather is nasty here right now. Heavy rain, threat of hail. So ‘Hail’ by Shunkan is the song for Day 29 of the song-a-day-May NZ Music month madness.

I’m also posting this today because Shunkan will debut as a 4 piece band at Chick’s Hotel tonight (Thursday 29 May) on their way north to shows in Auckland at the weekend. By now the story of Marina Sakimoto relocating from Los Angeles to Invercargill, where she recorded this EP and then had it released via adventurous UK label Art Is Hard Records is probably well known… I’m intrigued how a band will handle these songs.

This song ‘Hail’, with it’s dark fuzzed out swooping guitar and soaring vocal, evokes the spirit of early My Bloody Valentine and also Sigur Ros at times. It’s glorious. I bought a copy of m.b.v., the 20-years-in-the-making My Bloody Valentine album on release day last year. I have now played Shunkan’s cassette EP more times than I have played that m.b.v. album. There’s a freshness, lightness, and excitement here lacking from My Bloody Valentine’s over-thought and mixed-into-submission recent album.