So far this year we’ve put out two EP’s (Blessin’ and Gorgeous Bully) two split releases (Birdskulls/Bloody Knees, the Art Reeks split), launched a Flexidisc Zine with Fear Of Men and put out 6 free download singles on our Pizza Club. Not bad considering we’re barely a third of the way through the year. In preparation for some huge summer projects I thought we’d calm things down for a couple of months, but that was until the debut EP from Shunkan dropped into my inbox.
Shunkan is the moniker of Marina Sakimoto, an LA expat currently residing in southernmost New Zealand “where nothing ever happens”. Just 20 years old her debut release is massively exciting and shows great promise.
'Honey, Milk and Blood' is a melting hotpot of sounds and influences. From the yelps of Karen O, the songwriting intricacies of Tegan and Sarah, the heartfelt chugging pop songs of Waxahatchee, to the shoegaze soundscapes of My Bloody Valentine - its all here. The EP never strays into the category of “borrowed parts” as each track comes as a welcome suprise.
It’s this quilt of influences that gives the EP it’s value on repeated listens as you weave together the common themes that link each track. Closing song, ‘Wash you Away’ (available to stream and download above) is (just shy of) four minutes of scuzzy, lo-fi indie rock at its finest - Marina’s vocals wash beside layers of distorted and acoustic guitar; the song ripping, gripping, great - before a calm, quiet and beautiful ending.
Shunkan means “moment” or “in a moment” in Japanese. “It’s how I want to live from now on. Not try and plan out the next 10 years of my life,” Marina said.
"Moving so far away from home and not having a band gave me artistic freedom that I didn’t have before.
I relied on others for their approval, even with music, so this EP was a challenge; the only person I could turn to during the creative process was myself, and relying on my memories and looking inward for acceptance was a challenge.
The album cover is a photo of myself in the most “normal” times of my life, but several years ago hundreds of photos that my mother kept were damaged, thus why that photo has all of the film bleed.
To me, it was a strange physical metaphor… that those times are no longer with me, and I can’t hold on to them. All I can do is look forward.”
'Honey, Milk and Blood' tracklist:
1. Dust in Your Eye
2. It’s Not Your Fault
5. Wash You Away
The EP will be released 5th May on cassette (limited to 50) and will come in fold out cardboard artwork similar to our long sold out Best Friends/Grazes split. Each package will also include a download card for the full MP3 version.
Head over to our shop to pre order.