TSUKASA - Matsupoi yo / Hitohira no sakura

review - 10.11.2014 11:01

We're listening into the debut single of Japan's first visual enka singer.

TSUKASA, formerly of D'espairsRay and drummer of THE MICRO HEAD 4N'S has long held the dream of becoming an enka singer. Thanks to the encouragement of his colleagues this year, he at last decided to give it a try. The double A-side single Matsupoi yo / Hitohira no sakura is his first solo release. But how does it sound?

Matsupoi yo’s opening has a touch of nostalgia about it. The tunes of the flute in the background, the soft bass and guitars, all accompanying TSUKASA‘s deep but soft voice give the song a very traditional feel. The refrain is a little different, however; TSUKASA‘s calls of "poi poi poi" feel like they should be answered with a similar call from an audience - this will surely work well at lives. In spite of this, the song possesses a playful and distinctly Japanese character.

Hitohira no sakura’s title already reveals the main theme of the track to be cherry blossoms. The song is more powerful in sound than the first track, predominated by electric guitar, for which TSUKASA’s THE MICRO HEAD 4N'S bandmate kazuya helped him with the arrangement. Otherwise Hitohira so sakura remains classic. In the background, you can hear shamisens, some bells and also the flute again. Overall, the second track of this debut single can be described as a dreamy rock ballad.

It’s typical of enka releases to include instrumental versions of every song on a record, and TSUKASA's debut single is no exception. With the karaoke version, you can let yourself become immersed in the sounds of the instruments and respective arrangements.

TSUKASA‘s debut release in the enka genre makes for an interesting listen. Especially for people who have never accessed this most classic form of Japanese popular music, Matsupoi yo / Hitohira no sakura should be a very good introduction. I personally enjoyed Hitohira no sakura the most, but I like both songs very much because of their traditional character. I look forward to hearing new releases from him soon; maybe it will even be an album.

Matsupoi yo / Hitohira no sakura was released October 3rd, 2014.
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