Maison Book Girl don’t craft full-fledged songs so much as attempt to make sense out of cacophonous noise. Toy flutes, jagged guitars, and pensive pianos sound-off at once, but don’t fully communicate with each other, providing a slightly out-of-sync feel to the idol group’s unique pop style. Producer Sakurai Kenta constructs the song’s lyrics in a similar way as the music, with the idols’ verses comprised of oblique yet evocative imagery — and he leaves most of the narratives to be pieced together through these fragments of suggestive detail. Maison Book Girl put more focus on cohesion, however, for their third album, Yume. Experimental sounds and song sketches act not only as interludes but also mood pieces to build an intimate world around the music. The songs are also tied together by a few lyrical motifs, as distilled in the album’s brooding cover image. An empty room, a lonely bed, and a desperate need to crawl back into one’s dreams — these recurring details intensify the melancholy in Maison Book Girl’s introverted tracks. The title track half-resides in reality, and half-refuses to leave the world of a much preferable dream, while the sulking chorus of “Semai Monogatari” (‘A Narrow Story’) hones in on the deep misery born out of spending extensive time alone, in the confines of one’s bedroom. Which is to say that Maison Book Girl’s noise-pop sound is no longer just for show; from the bleak comedown-choruses, to the overwhelmingly kitchen-sink production, Yume defines the whole emotional experience of being highly sensitive to the world around you.
Published as part of Foreign Correspondent | Issue 2.