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New Sebastian X: “Hikari No Tategami”

Sebastian X have always been about wearing emotions on their sleeves, and not just little splashes of it either. Last year’s Bokura No Fantasy (fun fact: this blog’s unlucky #26 album of the year) featured tracks seeping out feeling, like someone took a stick of lipstick and drew a portrait on your cuffs. This year’s digital-only single “Hikari No Tategami” finds Sebastian X still spilling out passion, but do it in a slightly more refined style. The Tin-Pan-Alley ramshackle of 2010 has become a celestial sweep, the group’s piano sounding more graceful than manic. The vocals still aren’t opera-trained, but now sound less spontaneous and more like they’ve been labored over. Which turns out well, a small surprise considering it is that overjoyed spontaneity that made Sebastian X’s older music so memorable. Yet the style used on “Hikari No Tategami” works, the singing still far from perfect but now sounding prettier than ever before. You can listen to a snippet of the song here or you can buy the thing at HearJapan.

Sebastian X also made some sort of “making of” documentary for this single, which you can watch below. Hope you understand more Japanese than me! Actually, not hard to do…