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Metoronori “Veil”

by Patrick ST. Michel

Special To The Japan Times

Time will tell whether “Veil” sounds good come warmer months, but right now it’s the perfect album for winter. Tokyo artist Metoronori’s third full-length album appeared online in the middle of last week, when the wind blew especially cold. With the heat cranked up and the windows shut, “Veil” was a cozy soundtrack for staying in.

Metoronori records all of her music at home and, moreso than the dozens of other bedroom artists operating in Japan today, the result sounds designed for nights spent inside. She creates her own world of wonky pop songs via synths and a sing/talk vocal style that’s often mixed low and comes off like someone trying to start a conversation from the other side of a wall. “Veil” is an intimate album that’s not afraid to jar. The lithe “Suimen” (“The Water’s Surface”) finds her voice fading in and out of the music, while the otherwise straightforward “III” gets shaken up by the inclusion of what sounds like a digital alarm. These details make “Veil” all the more intimate, musical imperfections used to draw the listener in.

It also helps that Metoronori’s synths sound a bit chilly. Throughout “Veil,” the slightly faded electronics making up the backbone of her tracks come off like a snowstorm experienced from inside a house, like it’s under assault from the weather outside. On the wordless “Shyokubutsu no Mendoumi” (“Taking Care of a Plant”), she matches antique piano sounds against digital bleeps and bloops, making for a disorienting mix. The whole album ends, appropriately, with a song where Metoronori’s vocals are practically a whisper coming from underneath a blanket.

Metoronori’s “Veil” is available for download from the singer’s Bandcamp age at metoronori.bandcamp.com/album/–2.