Izumi Misawa: Speaking Behind the Raindrops
Symbolic Interaction

Izumi Misawa's debut album Speaking behind the Raindrops extends Symbolic Interaction's purview into novel territory, specifically bedroom electroacoustic pop of the kind associated with Cokiyu and, to a lesser degree, Caroline. Misawa's a Japanese multi-hyphenate—performer, percussionist, singer, composer, and sound designer—who uses digital methods to assemble her toy orchestra of sounds (e.g., marimba, glockenspiel, vibraphone, kalimba, hand-cranked music box, toy piano) into multi-hued explorations that are alternately playful (the helter-skelter dance of kalimbas and electronic squiggles that comprises “Shizuku”) and lullaby-like (the pretty “Hakoniwa,” which pairs music-box tinkles with her soft voice, and “Waiting for ....,” a child-like setting of tiny sparkles and glissandos). Misawa's smart enough to realize that an entire album of similarly-styled material will grow tiresome so occasionally makes a left turn, such as the hazy and funereal one taken in “Loop-end.” In “Chairs,” a slow rhythmic unfurl works at cross-purposes to a hyperactive parade of percussive and electronic accents, while a pronounced Steve Reich influence declares itself in the marimba patterns that dance through “Pray for Rain” (there's even a hint of jazz in the vibraphones that cascade like metal droplets). Speaking behind the Raindrops should appeal to fans with an appetite for playful electroacoustic song settings.

July 2008