Review: ayumi melody – Froh Flow

Ayumi melody is the frontwoman for indie rock/folk band A Month of Sundays and also of the short-lived all girls rock band Lily Rose, which broke up last year. Half-Japanese and half-British and bilingual in Japanese and English, she sings in a mixture of both languages with a strong, distinctive voice. This is her first solo album and it was released on the Hana to Pops label which specializes in independent, female musicians.

ayumi-froh

Track List

  1. Hitori no tsubu (ひかりのつぶ)
  2. Together
  3. Midori no sheets (みどりのシーツ)
  4. Shigatsu no tawagoto (四月のたわごと)
  5. Lychee (ライチ)

Each track on this album is beautiful and emotional, simply arranged on piano and acoustic guitar. The opening track is incredibly striking with a multi-tracked choral arrangement of ayumi’s vocals over piano. The lyrics on the CD conjure up sweet or bittersweet memories, with sounds that somehow evoke simpler days. Acoustic guitar and some backing vocals were provided by her bandsmates from A Month of Sunday.

The title of the CD, Froh Flow, comes from the German word froh meaning “glad” and the English word flow, so a “flow of happiness” or something similar. I don’t listen to acoustic music often, but this CD has been getting some good play time since I bought it. It’s incredibly relaxing.

Standout Tracks

  • Hitori no tsubu – A short, two-minute song that leaves a lasting impression
  • Shigatsu no tawagoto – The melody and lyrics of this song are both superb, and while I like the band arrangement a tad better, this acoustic version is lovely

My Favorite Music Videos of 2015

These are all music videos that were enjoyable or memorable to me from the past year. Not necessarily my favorite songs (although I certainly like them all) and not necessarily the most impressive videos, but just what caught my attention. In no particular order:

Sheena Ringo (椎名林檎) – Nagaku Mijikai Matsuri (長く短い祭)

From the pop queen herself, a duet with Ukigumo with autotune done right and a disturbing video.

 

Yubisaki nohaku (指先ノハク) – Nanigashi (なにがし)

An extremely fun music video with a song of when communication just isn’t working right. One of my favorite songs of the year as well.

 

Milkyway (みるきーうぇい) – Shinitaku Naru Hodo Suki Datta (死にたくなるほど好きだった。)

A moving story music video and the sequel to this MV from last year. With a song called “I Loved You So Much I Want to Die,” Milkyway really has the best emo lyrics.

 

Chirinuruwowaka (チリヌルヲワカ) – Awoawo (アヲアヲ)

This video is really simply but I love how well it fits the chill song. It’s also always enjoyable to watch videos where you can actually see the musicians play.

 

A Month of Sundays – Shigatu no Tawagoto (四月のたわごと)

Another very simple music video that just fits the music perfectly. I love the vintage camera touch and this is just one of my very favorite songs of the year.

 

Lily Rose (リリーローズ) – I Know

Simple and sexy. Same singer as the above video.

 

Suiyoubi no Campanella (水曜日のカンパネラ) – Medusa (メデューサ)

It wouldn’t be a best MV list without at least one Suikan song. While it wasn’t their flashiest video of the year, it was the most charming.