Music Monday: Suga Shikao

Happy Monday, everyone!

This past week, I’ve re-discovered just how stirring Suga Shikao’s music can be. Those that watch anime may find his name familiar, as should those that like his particular brand of Japanese rock. (Those songs often have a soulful and attitude-driven sound, with quite a bit of funk influence.) What led me back to him was a compilation of tracks known as ‘Murakami Songs,’ titles that the writer Haruki Murakami has detailed as his favorites in writing.

Murakami has quite an eclectic taste, and is known for having numerous American and foreign influences for a Japanese writer. True to his reputation, many of the songs are by American artists. However, Suga Shikao stands out as the sole Japanese artist, with not one but two songs – “Kimagure <気まぐれ>” and “The Moon and a Knife <月とナイフ>.” “Kimagure,” his fourteenth single, is a quiet stunner; the melancholy guitar and voice are all that carry you along. The resultant sound is raw, giving the impression that we have struck an intimate nerve of his. This track, though calming, is emotionally devastating at its conclusion. The only hope left lies in the lyrics, which reference the rebirth of a new morning.

Unfortunately, there is no MV for the song. I hope that those who want to hear a different kind of sound from Japan enjoy this post.

Have a great week!

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