2020 Album Draft- Round 10- Pick 2- Aphoristical selects- Tricot- Makkuro.
When I was in my early twenties, I saw some of my friends, previously passionate about music, lose interest in new releases. I believe that it’s important to be a lifelong learner in everything – I enjoy cooking with new ingredients and figuring out new stuff at work.
Similarly, I think there’s always new and interesting music out there. It’s inarguable that popular music has become more fragmented and that there’s been a corresponding decline in cultural relevance. When Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young rush-released ‘Ohio’ in 1970, it felt like a song that could change the world. Fifty years later, except for a handful of megastars, most acts are playing to a niche audience.
With so much choice, it’s easy to become flummoxed. But it also provides a wealth of available music. One of my favourite discoveries from this year is Japanese four-piece guitar band tricot, who mash together progressive rock and pop music. Here’s the closing track.
真っ黒 translates as ‘Pure Black’. The sweet vocal melody is complemented by the group’s sharp musicianship – the cleverly arranged intro and intricate guitar parts work wonderfully to support the song.
Hiromi Sagane’s virtuoso bass-line opens the record on ‘Don’t Mix! Danger’, a rapid-fire punkish opener that’s sweetened by the creative backing harmonies. The group mellow right down on ‘To a Non-Dangerous Town’ – it places Nakajima’s voice in the spotlight, and it’s pretty. The squiggling guitar of ‘One Season’ recalls 1980s King Crimson, but tricot have perfected a math-pop aesthetic on Makkuro.
Makkuro might have some competition as my favourite album of the year, by tricot themselves – they’re scheduled to drop a second 2020 album within the next couple of weeks.