Shunkan’s ‘The Pink Noise’ Will Make You Feel More Understood
A straight up hi-fi rock album!
November 19, 2015, 3:17am
“I always wanted to produce a straight up hi-fi rock album that parallels the era of The Blue Album”, Shunkan’s frontwoman Marina says, about the band’s latest release. So here’s where we would usually tell you how Weezer’s debut album was great, and wow wasn’t that record angsty, and didn’t they suck so hard in the decade afterwards, and blah blah blah. But fuck that! Y’all know that shit already.
So now that’s out of the way, let’s focus on Shunkan’s The Pink Noise. The record is a “love letter” to Marina’s “teenage self”. Recorded in a week, it’s a record that’s about darkness as much as it is about the light at the end of the tunnel. A song like “Our Names”, which narrates the age-old transition from drinking to snorting coke at a house party, catches the whirldwind of often alienated teenage emotion, yet polishes it with a sheen that promises to have you smiling through the tears. “I just want people to feel understood and less lonely when listening to the record because that’s what music has always done for me”, Marina says. Obviously this means we’re gonna have it on repeat 24/7 from now. Listen below.
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.