Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

Wednesday Campanella – The Bamboo Princess

Have a good Wednesday! And a good day, as well…


Ryo Miyauchi: “The Bamboo Princess” wipes Wednesday Campanella’s slate clean. Gone are the mouthful word salads, replaced by a lyrical and logical tale that makes more use of silence. Kenmochi Hidefumi moves away from the hottest dance-music sounds for string plucks, woodblocks and big brass, though he still can’t resist including some skittering drums and electronic sound effects. The biggest shift comes from Kom_I, whose vocal aspirations of the past few years fully bloom. Knowing her performance antics of the past — which included a few times where she wandered backstage mid-song as the TV cameras kept rolling — it’s a moment of growth to witness the once-restless Kom_I stand rather proper and calm while embracing the music.

Pedro João Santos: A quiet triumph from Wednesday Campanella, whose Galapagos EP bridges the gap between their pop sensibilities and their newfound propensity toward ambient soundscapes. “The Bamboo Princess” is peppered with bubbly horns and string arpeggios, conflating buoyancy with tranquility. The florescent pre-chorus means to lull us into a summer trance, only to be disrupted by that burst of energy within the hook — playful and earthbound. The theme appears to be rejuvenescence through death, which is as bright an outlook on finitude as they come.

Julian Axelrod: Gorgeous and surreal in its electronic approach to nature, like watching a beautiful sunset fade into a desktop background. The sumptuous strings set the table for one of the most vivid and exciting drops in recent memory, a whirlwind of horns, yelps and snares that makes a pretty convincing argument for trusting the machine.

Dorian Sinclair: I’m a huge sucker for pop songs that make use of traditional forms or instruments. Perhaps it’s because I’m Indigenous — it is difficult to make generalizations across cultures, obviously, but there’s a long history of us finding ways to modernize while remaining connected to our traditions and history. It helps, of course, that “The Bamboo Princess” is smartly put together, with instruments combined in interesting ways and KOM_I’s voice effortlessly skimming above everything else going on in the mix.

Tim de Reuse: Soft-loud-repeat isn’t really a new paradigm in J-pop, but this has such loose, organic sound design that it’s a joy even when it’s predictable. It helps that the overstuffed arpeggios that lie underneath the chorus are short-circuiting my secret love for Bollywood-esque string section theatrics.

Katherine St Asaph: Every time I think it’s no longer possible for pop to surprise and stun and sound utterly new, like sound has found an entirely new way to unfurl out into the universe, I’m proven wrong. Strings help.

Iain Mew: The progression of the strings and beats is a gorgeous otherworldly scattering which brings to mind equally the celestial procession in Studio Ghibli’s take on the same traditional story, and Oxide & Neutrino’s treatment of the Casualty theme. While this particular techno-pastoral sound is a new twist, its ambition and the confident execution is no more than par for Wednesday Campanella.

Reader average: [8.19] (5 votes)

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One Response to “Wednesday Campanella – The Bamboo Princess”

  1. Best pop act in the world! Really nice to see you cover them again at last and fantastic writing from all