Premiere: Shunkan – Mornings in the Afterlife

I first heard ‘Little Hell’, Shunkan’s first single from their forthcoming album ‘Cumberland Falls’ courtesy of fellow bloggers The Grey Estates. While her knack for writing an irresistible tune was obvious, what got me more was the beautiful absurdity of her lyrics: “these ghosts are so frustrated because I have legs”. Today we’re exclusively premiering the follow up to that single, ‘Mornings In The Afterlife’.

It carries on where they left off, with Marina Sakimoto, the woman behind Shunkan, continuing to deliver her winning blend of potent yet profound indie-rock. Marina’s voice quite literally sneaks in after the first few drones of the guitar – you hardly hear her coming – as she sings ‘I don’t wanna seem ungrateful’ in a tone that’s both cool and offhand. Sakimoto’s lyrics continue to coax you in throughout, revealing enough to make you think but never enough to take away the mystery. “Making my lyrics a little abstract lets me create a world of my own, which makes me feel comforted, I guess.” Sakimoto explains.

Originally written four years ago following her grandfather’s death, the mood of the song was completely changed when Sakimoto wrote a new chorus “with different visions of purgatory, or transitioning into a weird wonderland of the afterlife.” It’s an absolutely huge chorus and one that you get to hear over and over again. A dramatic breakdown in the middle of the track fools you into thinking you’ve heard the chorus for the last time only for the guitar to ring out and the drums to build until you’re in its’ thrall again.  Like that whirlpool you loved as a kid, you’ll want to go round and round again.

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