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New Mitsume: “Esper”

With Mitsume, it’s all about the moments happening away from the vocals. Which isn’t to discount what Moto Kawabe does while singing — his light vocal delivery adds a melancholy-tinged breeziness to the quartet’s music, and the head-to-the-ground style trumps the more dramatic flourishes of groups such as Suchmos and Never Young Beach for me (which…quick aside, it’s sorta crazy how Mitsume paved the way for both those bands and down-the-ranks projects like Yogee New Waves to have bigger success…musically, not far off!). But it’s the sounds bookending the voice that really set Mitsume apart, and new single “Esper” provides one of the clearest examples in the band’s catalog to date. Just listen to the instrumental passages, featuring sun-soaked guitar playing that sounds just off — the bright rays out of focus just a touch — and the various effects swirling around them. Not quite uneasy, but like those mirage puddles you see on asphalt while driving on a hot day — a weird trick in something otherwise serene. Listen above.