Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mayumi Kojima

Dear god I love this woman. For the past week, I've listened to nothing else besides her sensational discography, and she's quickly become one of my favorite musicians. I can't believe I let her stuff slip out of my radar after listening to the awesomesauce that is Poltergeist in the Ghost Hound OP over a year ago.

It's unfortunate that I've found next to no information about her through Google. Only bit of background info that I could find at some blog said that she grew up listening to American music from the earlier half of the 20th century and wanted to emulate the stuff from that period. She hearkens back to her American influences in a very obvious manner, throwing in cute melodic homages here and there, and does so consistently from album to album. But her "sound" is still very distinct. And it has everything to do with her insane voice. To start, it's got a very smooth and sultry tone. Timbre aside, there's a number of things she does that make her vocals one-of-a-kind. It's very "inconsistent." She drifts, wavers between airy whispers and resounding belts with rapidity and ease. She cracks her voice, goes off-key and discordant, hisses and moans in ways that are so aurally pleasing. Simply put, her voice makes the music. The instrumental composition is nice, but put in a different voice, and there's a good chance this stuff would become boring.

Admittedly, it's hard to tell her albums apart. Her style and sound is fairly constant. Without understanding the language and hearing any thematic differences, I couldn't tell that her songs were from different albums one time when I had accidentally set my music player on shuffle. But honestly, if it works, why change it for the sake of "experimentation"? What she lacks in drastic variation is made up by how consistently fun, playful, and satisfying her music is.

Mayumi Kojima's got a new album slated for release on October 21st. My bank account is empty, but my ears are willing.

Hebi Musume
Last Shot

Preorder her upcoming album here.


  1. 'Hebi Mesu Me' is actually 'Hebi Musume.'

    Yeah her stuff is great! One of the better distinct voices in Japan. I would say her first material was fairly playful and different compared to the rest of her disco (see: ai no poltergeist) while her latest, Swingin' Caravan, is more similar to her early material.

  2. Whoops, hehe, my bad with the space. It's just unfortunate I don't understand any Japanese. My burning desire to understand what the heck Mayumi is singing compels me to take some Japanese...but with college being so busy, I'm just not sure I can tack something else to my schedule.