This is the debut album for the duo of Rie Mitsutake and Will Long, released on the relatively new label Normal Cookie from Japan. Given that most of the previously unheard artists I have received from Japanese labels have been of the highest quality I was excited as to what I may hear.
‘Heavens Gate’ opens up this 14-tracker, with lo-fi analogue electronics and female harmonies that float of kilter against one another, slipping off parallel that works more than it should in theory; either way I was surprised as to just how engaging this was as a whole.
There is more than a pop influence to Mitsutake and Long’s work. When the former sings, it’s more often than not in her native tongue; but this is rarely an issue and she still manages to hold the listener regardless of their linguistic skills (or lack of).
There is something so unremarkably simplistic about “I Love You’, that it’s remarkable in itself; and whilst it would be easy to dismiss a lot of the output on the release, the retro sensibilities fit a certain guilty pleasure of mine when it comes to a lot of Japanese music, regardless of genre, somehow often owing more to the music I listen to than is immediately obvious.
This debut will most likely find itself at some point onto my phone for listening to whilst travelling to work and that’s no mean feat in itself; a peculiar, yet strangely alluring album that I enjoyed from start to finish that holds its weight well in the originality stakes.