“Following on from her double sell out EP ‘Honey, Milk and Blood’ and the comic book single ‘Our Names’ we’re delighted to be able to finally unveil the debut album from NZ based, but LA born Marina Sakimoto, otherwise known as Shunkan.
Whereas the EP recordings were shrouded in a cloud of lo-fi blissfulness, ‘The Pink Noise’ sees Marina filling out her sound with a full band. In doing so she has managed to avoid the pitfall of many bedroom-pop-prodigies and has managed to make sure the songs have not lost any of their heart or emotion. Instead it is placed directly in front of you, bared and bruised.
The album was recorded in Lyttleton, Christchurch NZ and Marina says of the record “the inspiration was honesty and clarity, and the struggle of keeping your demons at bay. The lyrics are vulnerable and straight forward with hints of abstract imagery and setting.”
Whether Marina is describing the feeling of big city loneliness (Peter), learning how to grow up (The Pink Noise) or codependency (Here With Me) there is a consistent feeling of catharsis which runs throughout the album, although the subject matter might be objectively sad, the album certainly doesn’t feel that way. We haven’t even got onto the music yet, but the songs themselves are some of the most well-written, affecting and memorable we have released in five years of this little label business. There’s Weezer-esque choruses, melodies to make Radiator Hospital proud and shoegaze interludes that might even cause Kevin Shields fathom a grin and we can’t wait to share the rest of this amazing album with you.” -Art Is Hard Records
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Shunkan is a Los Angeles based rock band steeped in the young traditions of left of the dial underground. Shunkan (shoon-kahn) translates from Japanese to “in a moment”. Frontwoman Marina Sakimoto confronts her duality not only as as a half-Japanese artist, but in the emotional balance of yin and yang. Warm dueling guitars akin to the jangly riffs of Pavement and earnest second-wave emo marry Sakimoto’s voice, ranging from heartbreaking coos to animalistic howls. Whether transitioning between pedal-gazing deemed as “mastering the Kevin Shields shoegaze staple like nobody else” (DIY Mag) or raw confrontation in a stripped-down setting, Shunkan accomplishes the feat of maintaining real individuality while remaining cohesive throughout.
Shunkan’s first EP Honey, Milk and Blood and debut album The Pink Noise were covered and highly reviewed by media publications The Guardian, NME, Noisey, Spin, Stereogum, BrooklynVegan, and others alike. NZ Musician Magazine selected Shunkan for the 2015 fall issue cover. In 2019, The National Library of New Zealand officially archived The Pink Noise, which was recorded and funded by the New Zealand government program NZ On Air. Her latest self-released sophomore album, Cumberland Falls, was placed on NPR’s Staff Picks of 2019.