You have no choice but to be excited when you hear that Mei Semones has new music out.
And… when it’s a double single, you’re supposed to be doubly excited.
That’s how I felt when I heard about the new Mei Semones single, Okashi.
As a fan of her previous two EPs (reviewed here and here), it’s a treat to hear what Mei is up to now that she has moved to Brooklyn, New York.
The song has an interesting contrast thing happening. For one, the first half of the song – lyrics are in Japanese. And the second half, it’s in English.
The Japanese part of the song is sweet (like candy) and showcases the sweet part of falling in love.
The English part is darker (cue change of clothes for Mei to black) and the lyrics reflecting on the protaganist’s foolishness to fall in love.
So the question would be… who is the fool?
There’s a lot to take in with the song, especially when you enjoy the music along with the beautifully directed music video from Evan Deng. The video alone is a work of art.
The arrangement for the song is understated, with the kind of indie orchestration that Mei is so fond of. Probably the best part of the song is that the story and her vocals drive it… and the music paints the journey without necessarily drawing attention to itself. In this regard, maybe this is Mei Semones’s songwriting developing over time.
To summarize, the artistry of Mei is how her vision and aesthetic is consistent. She is building her own world that embraces light and dark, sweetness and bitterness as well as the human experience. You should come along for the ride.
first single from double single “Shinju 真珠,” out 10/21!
There’s more to say, there’s more that’s on my mind
If you don’t let me take the wheel
I’ll take the floor if you make the bed my way
It doesn’t matter if I cry
Grit your teeth, you don’t wanna
Hear me scream, I won’t let you
Get to me, you are just a
Fool to me, a fool to me
You fooled me, you fooled me
released October 12, 2022
upright bass: Jaden Raso
drums & hand perc: Ransom McCafferty
viola: Noah Leong
violin: Claudius Agrippa
cello: Kely Pinhero
recorded, mixed, and mastered by: Kai Tsao
cover art: Rhi Ragone
Find more information about Mei & where you can stream, purchase & download her music on her official website here: https://www.meisemones.com/
About Mei Semones
Born from a sonic enthusiasm of John Coltrane, The Smashing Pumpkins and Thelonious Monk, Mei Semones is a shining new star in the angelic amalgamation of indie music, jazz and J-Pop. Her debut EP, “Tsukino 月の,” was released in late January 2022, following the original release of her first single, “Hfoas” in March 2020, and continued Semones’ tradition of containing lyricism in both Japanese and English – a euphonious love-note to her East Asian heritage.” – Caitlin Andrews, Periphery Magazine
Mei Semones is an artist creating jazz influenced indie pop songs with lyrics in both Japanese and English, currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Drawing from her background in jazz guitar and her Japanese heritage, she uses creative harmonic and rhythmic concepts and two different languages to write her songs.
Mei’s influences include John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery,
Thelonious Monk, João Gilberto, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Nirvana, with a sprinkle of folk. Drawing from these different influences, her music incorporates a variety of genres.