sThe Japanese have a very beautiful and intimate culture. The intimacy of it brings with it a lot of feelings and memories that really have a pretty, lo-fi aesthetic to it. Hisato Higuchi channels that sound perfectly. He creates loneliness in Kietsuzukeru Echo, his latest record.
Kietsuzukeru Echo is a pretty barebones record. There's three elements in every song: Higuchi's voice, his reverberating, clean guitar, and the static. All three come together in every song to form some beautiful pictures. Opening track 'Itami Hakubo Utsuwa' moves by dejectedly and saddened by its message. The vocals are very calm and gentle but also carry a darkness in the melody to make the mood of the track feel like it's reminiscing about an old memory Higuchi wants to relive. The static helps give it that old-film aesthetic as it plays in your mind.
That's the formula for pretty much the entire record. It's hard to say whether or not it's a fault or an asset. For one, this album is stunningly beautiful as a result of all this drama. The clean guitars that sing for ages and Higuchi's soft, somber vocals really go well together with the white noise, especially in tracks like 'Kimi No Nawa Hikoki' and it's much darker melodies. However, it also really makes each trend blend together with almost no distinction. If it wasn't for the pretty awkward static fade in and fade outs, this album would continue forever without you noticing the track changed. There's also no real climax, just a lot of sobering an endearing memories, which does have its own charm.
Hisato Higuchi creates loneliness in Kietsuzukeru Echo, but it's also a fondness. Warm memories play through your mind as you listen to this track, an old colored film aesthetic playing over them all. It's a record that's really meant for thinking and nothing else, and it'll put you in a very relaxed state.
Favorite Tracks: Kimi No Nawa Hikoki, Itami Hakubo Utsuwa
Least Favorite Track: Mirai No Kioku
Rating: 73 / 100
Buy or listen to Kietsuzukeru Echo here: