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AI ASO – “DATE”

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Ai Aso makes swaying (sometimes lounge-jazzy) psych pop in both English and her native Japanese. Exceedingly hypnotizing, her songs and her singing are soft, minimal, and exposed – the kind of stuff that makes you hold your breath in rapt suspension until the end. New single “Date” is a pre-release for LP Lone out on March 31 via Stephen O’Malley’s imprint Ideologic Organ.

“Date” is deceptively simple. The bare synth accompaniment oscillates between two parallel arpeggiations, lulling the ear into a haze like a devotional harmonium. The tone is water droplets, rippling the 1-5-#7 outlines of chromatically related G and E major-seventh chords. The vocal fills out the missing voice for each and blurs the lines between these two chords, beginning the two primary phrases on the common tone B and melodically emphasizing E over the G chord. The melody is an exercise in restraint, revealing specific characteristics of its D acoustic scale with each phrase: phrase 1 {B-D-E} seems pentatonic; phrase 2 {B-D-E-F-G#} emphasizes the whole tone subset and is inversionally symmetrical; phrase 3 {F#-G#-A} clarifies the pitch class set a D acoustic. Beneath the skeletal surface, “Date” illustrates a complex dialectical equilibrium of component parts.

Pre-order the full record here, and stimulate your ears with some haunting oracle-pop.

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