Published on March 23rd, 2016 | by The Beige Baron


Review: Suishou No Fune | Wishing On a Star

Analyzing emotion in Suishou No Fune’s music is like searching for meaning in a Renoir by counting the brushstrokes.

Exactly how the Tokyo-based duo conjures such depth of feeling with just two guitars and vocals is a mystery, perhaps even to the band itself.

But listen to Wishing On a Star (2015, PSFD-209) at different times and in different states of mind, and its mercurial quality is slowly revealed. The mystery lies not in the music’s chords and lyrics, but in the unique connection it makes. Call it spiritual, but listening is like an otherworldly communion, primitive and wild.



It’s no accident that most Suishou No Fune albums are recorded live in clubs and cafes, this one included. A silent tension thrums between the players and those present in the room, and miraculously, the tape catches it. A moment that slips its mooring in time and fills the sails of the Crystal Ship.

Packed in subway darkness, wandering through city streets, staring blind at the ceiling with headphones on—there’s nothing between you and wherever this sound is coming from. It blows through the band from somewhere else, its chill making hair stand up on your arms.

Wishing On a Star, over four long tracks, guides you through a world of shifting color and mood.

Wishing On a Star, over four long tracks, guides you through a world of shifting color and mood. Pass through lonely clacks of percussion to pause in a soaring grove of reverb; feel a thrilling wind sweeping in off the ocean in the music’s restless tempo; float on rippling guitar delay across Pirako Kurenai’s haunting voice.

The atmosphere envelops you, and is gone: a toe clicks on guitar pedal, someone coughs, there’s a murmur in the crowd. Spell broken, time flows forward once more, and these temporal sounds speak only of the cosmic distances you’ve travelled.

Wishing On a Star won’t be for everyone. Maybe it’s not “for” anyone. But if you give the time it deserves, all the small imperfections that make this music so profoundly beautiful dissolve, and you can ride with it, for a time.

Wishing On a Star is available on the band’s website here in Japanese and here in English or via mail order on P.S.F Records or try Discogs. Read our extensive bi-lingual interview with Suishou No Fune here.

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Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.

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