On a wet night in NYC, Joe's Pub became a quaint spectacle in celebration of Citrus, Asobi Seksu's anticipated sophomore release and follow-up to their self-titled 2004 debut. As drenched and lackluster as the city seems to be on rainy evenings, the dream-like atmosphere was appropriate for the upcoming show. Having caught the group a few months ago at Bowery, I remembered the wispy pop vocals amid crashing guitar that made the show awesome, and I was looking forward to hearing their new material live.
Not a single seat was empty in the intimacy of the blue, mood lit lounge while the band set up. Yuki wore a snug knee-length dress bordered by fluorescent orange torso bands as Asobi Seksu began their familiar mixture of tambourine shackling topped by front-running delicate lyrics. "Strawberries" evoked a rushing spree of released anticipation, while "Thursday" flourished in recollection. As Yuki sang, the heavy-hitting guitar seemed to drown out her soft vocals, yet somehow blended well to create the lusciously hush pitch worth savoring. The melancholia captured within a song like "Walk On The Moon" speaks to the group's ripe ability to fluidly illustrate the atmosphere within their songs despite lyrical specifics, and is one of the qualities that attracted me to Asobi Seksu in the first place.
As the stage became lit in flash lighting and circulating white-spotted red discs, guitarist James Hanna unleashed a fresh break of vocals on "Pink Cloud Tracing Paper" while "Strings" featured a prolonged installation of whimsical back-and-forth on bass. Unlike any shiny apple of your eye, Asobi Seksu can be as musically turbulent as they are graceful, making them a cherishable accompaniment to any lightning storm.