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si,irene is a shoegaze band from Tokyo, Japan, and the side project of guitarist Kinoshita Akihito from Shinda bokuno kanjo. Their style is clearly influenced by Death Cab for Cutie and The National, and the group’s new EP BEES simultaneously revels in the genre’s typical characteristics, and subverts them as well with playful experimentation. This kind of tongue in cheek irreverence appears deftly over the EP’s entire duration, and the lead single “awful pop song” is one of its better examples. si,irene is really fantastic, however, at blending both arty angularity and indie pop melodicism, and this commitment to confronting preconceived musical ideas is at the forefront of their existence as a group.
On “indispensable physiological function in a living body,” the band seems to offer their askew take on disco, and similar subtle pastiches lurk throughout but their strongest efforts are also the most heavily shoegaze in delivery like “message to the dsn” and “regrets.” The vocals aren’t exactly the strongest, but then again rarely are they ever in shoegaze. Nevertheless, they probably should have been mixed differently to blend in more with the rest of the instrumentation, yet BEES manages to keep the genre alive in refreshing and challenging ways.
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