Asobi Seksu: "New Years"


By Mark Abraham | 8 May 2006

Dear Sarah,

So…where are you? I know we haven’t talked in years, but sometimes I find myself wondering. I assume you’re still in film school, or something, and out west, I guess? You’ve probably stopped painting designs on your boots with white out and/or acrylics (or maybe not) but I bet you still carry around those awesome mix tapes (by which I mean, in current terminology, “awesome iPod”). I’m writing because this song “New Years” reminds me of you, or more specifically it reminds me of all that weird stuff you used to listen to that I now remember sounding like the Cure and Cocteau Twins and the Pixies and maybe even My Bloody Valentine but it may not have been because memories are weird like that and I didn’t know who any of those bands were in high school because I loved the Misfits. And I was thinking, “dude, we all liked shitty music in high school,” not that the Misfits are in any way shitty, but you take my point, because remember those foggy Saint John nights when we used to hang out at the Reversing Falls lookout across from the Pulp Mill? Like, “hey communities! Give your children something awesome to do, so they don’t hang out in graveyards and at the Pulp Mill.”

But anyway, yeah, so we all liked Tool and Zappa and Pink Floyd and thought they were the be-all/end-all of music which, like, fine, but not exactly, and this song is all “fuck that shit” and throws its grungy guitars and swooping vocals and My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive and Cocteau Twins and LUSH at you like a tidal wave and I was telling my friend Leah last night about it and she went nuts because Pygmalion being re-released on CD was like somebody giving her the Rosetta Stone as a housewarming gift (if, um, y’know…she cared about the Rosetta Stone, which I’m pretty sure she doesn’t) but my point is that this song has that necessary extra space that heaves in behind the surges and ground it more than Loveless. So it’s like Loveless meets Spirit Of Eden meets Double Nickels On A Dime or something. No, a better way to put it is just that you can touch it, because its punk bass line and high-hat driven drum line are spiraling like the Violent Femmes debut that we used to love screaming the lyrics over while driving around the city and I wish you had been more forceful trying to get me to listen to shit like this earlier in life because shoegaze was not even in my vocabulary until I saw somebody use it weirdly and erroneously about Godspeed. Dude, this song is so retro! And it’s not even really better than any of that stuff, but it evokes the same feelings as they do, like when Cameron Crow throws an Elton John number over a scene so that his audience cues into a cluster of emotions they already associate with the song even if that same cluster isn’t actually present in the scene and yeah I listened to you all those times that you explained lazy filmmaking to me. But this song is like that; it must be, because it’s ret-conning my already faded memories of you.

Did you actually like the Cure?