Progressive Rock Band, Atsuko Chiba, Drops ‘Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing’ LP Album
Psychedelic rock group and Montreal-based band, Atsuko Chiba, has just released their six-song LP titled, Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing via Mothland. The five-member band experimented for months with their musical engineering to produce the album in their self-built studio, Room 11. Without further adieu, we’ll get right into our review of Atsuko Chiba’s diverse soundscape range and unique vocals.
Their first track begins with a solid minute of instrumentals and is titled, “Sunbath.” Most of the band’s instrumentals include drums and electric guitar throughout the LP, though they also surprise you with other subtle instruments. The distant and vague vocals blend into the atmosphere of smooth vibrations and musical indivisibility during this song – ultimately creating six and a half minutes of journeying into an interesting and unique realm of tranquility.
Atsuko Chiba’s next song “So Much For” is much different than their first – with more drumming, more vocals, and more diversity, though there are still fluid transitions. “So Much For” has compelling stand-out guitar solos as well as a two-minute-long intense instrumental of electric guitar, drums, and even the trumpet.
The third track, “Shook (I’m Often)” has an official music video, strictly focusing on abstract textures and materials that make you question their premise. The vocals aren’t easily discernible, often echoing and dragging into the distance, though it seems purposeful in contributing to their seamless fusion of lyric and song. Compared to their previous two, “Shook (I’m Often)” is more of a melancholy mixture of melodies.
“Seeds” is the longest song on the LP and also has an official music video. The music video is shot like a cinematic movie or documentary of some sort, though it only shows a woman in the forest, under a bypass, or in a body of water with a nude-colored top and bottom – abstractly dancing to the music. This song is much slower than the others with far less drums and mostly electric guitar and piano. The last thirty seconds of the track takes a turn to be unsettling and ominous, almost reflecting the instrumentals of a horror movie. Out of curiosity, let us know in the comments your interpretation of the music, lyrics, and official video of “Seeds.”
Ironically, Atsuko Chiba’s next song is significantly shorter than their previous five to six minute long tracks, at two minutes and 46 seconds, titled “Link.” This song also has an official music video that’s animated and quite disturbing, with what seems to be a naked man covered with insects – almost zombie-like. Apart from the video, the song is more intense like “So Much For” and has their usual instrumentals of electric guitar and drums.
Atsuko Chiba end their album with the name of the LP, “Water, It Feels Like It’s Growing.” As the second longest song of the six tracks, it’s slower but still impactful with electric guitar and drums, as per Astuko Chiba’s style. There are minute-long instrumentals in this song as well, along with a piano appearance and more distinct vocals than the rest of the song on the LP.
If you listened to the album, you may initially be confused by Atsuko Chiba’s abstract lyrics and unique style. The Canadian band expounded upon their new LP by stating:
“We wanted the record to take the listener on a journey, each song being a moment. Because of that, we were less focused on traditional song structures… Instead, we gravitated towards creating musical experiences with a trajectory, equally comfortable with repeating an idea for 5 minutes as we were reacting to a past moment by forcing a sudden change. We were far more concerned with the evolution of a single part, rather than thinking of our songs as sections, parts or modules that needed to fit a certain mold or structure. Songs could simply be their own musical worlds. We were also influenced by musical genres that tend to be more repetitive such as electronic or drone music. We discussed topics such as drones, ragas, hypnotic rhythms, minimalism, spatial awareness, musicality through overall patience, trying a less-is-more approach, etcetera. This led to us five playing as an ensemble rather than as musicians with defined roles; we were all responsible for pushing forward the main idea.”
In other words, the Water, It Feels like It’s Growing LP is meant to be an audible journey of complex yet flowing music with obtuse ideas and creativity. They are clearly defining their own role in the music industry and it’s inspiring to see what Atsuko Chiba has come up with in their experimental and improvised rock sessions.
To hear more of Atsuko Chiba, you can find them on social media/listen to them on Spotify through the links below or see them live in Canada (dates below). Don’t forget to let us know what you think of their new LP by commenting on this article!
Tues Feb 14 – Québec, QC – Phoque Off 2023
Fri Feb 24 – Alma, QC – Café Du Clocher
Sat Feb 25 – Trois-rivières, QC – Café-Bar Zénob
Fri Mar 3 – Ottawa, ON – Dominion Tavern
Sat Mar 4 – Toronto, ON – Monarch Tavern
Fri Mar 10 – Montreal, QC – La Sala Rossa