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Old 2015.10.22, 12:02 PM   #1
zeroryouko
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Default The Maron Hamada Appreciation Thread

I have been listening to Maron Hamada's Seijuku no Marble since it came out a couple weeks ago, and I gotta say, it's a terrific album. I've lost count of how many times I've played it. deadgrandma posted a really good review of it on his blog too, so I know I'm not alone in thinking this. It's definitely my favorite new album this year.

So I thought I would start this thread as a central location for news/information/discussion related to Maron Hamada and her music, since there seems to be relatively little on the English-speaking web about her. I think we'll be hearing a lot more about her on EMF in particular, particularly since her music and vocal style seem to dovetail nicely with some of Ringo's work.
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Old 2015.10.22, 01:40 PM   #2
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I've liked her since her early EPs. Haven't had a chance to fully check out her new album beyond a couple songs. I thought I could study while I listened to it, but her voice is too abrasive for that Personally, I don't think much will change regarding how much people like her on EMF. She's been around for a while. Is this album really that much of a departure from her previous sound that people only now will take notice? I guess I have to find out.
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Old 2015.10.22, 02:13 PM   #3
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Oh, to be clear, I'm absolutely not saying Hamada is the next Ringo - she's definitely more of a niche performer. That said, I think that there's a lot that fans of Ringo might appreciate. To me there seem to be some definite parallels and/or even some of Ringo's influence being felt.

Kusari sounds to me like something from the mid-Jihen era; Mayakashi no Blues would have been right at home on Sanmon Gossip. At risk of starting some controversy, I would argue that Shihatsu Mae no Dance Hall (currently my favorite track) is Hamada's answer to Marunouchi Sadistic.

Vocally - I'm not sure how exactly to describe it, but Hamada's voice bears some striking similarities to Ringo's voice (and some *really* striking similarities to Gin Wigmore). Hamada does not have the range or technique that Ringo has (which is not at all to say I dislike her voice), but somehow her voice just sort of scratches that same itch...I'll have to think more about it.

I will also admit to having discovered Hamada only relatively recently, so in retrospect I realize that this thread probably comes off as very noob-ish particularly to those who have been following her for a while. Sorry about that. Playing that album was just kind of a "Eureka!" moment...
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Old 2015.10.22, 03:19 PM   #4
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New album is not a departure from her sound sure, but it certainly is a honing of it, there's no loose ends and it's tight as it gets. She's also pretty damn great live.
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Old 2015.10.22, 05:46 PM   #5
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Don't tell me there's a live DVD out there?!

ETA: Actually, please tell me there's a live DVD out there...
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Old 2015.10.22, 07:13 PM   #6
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No live DVD yet. But I have seen footage on youtube over the last few years. She seems like an artist likely to tour international as part of jazz festivals and stuff. I know other artists on her label have already.

I know she does do pretty neat covers in her sets too.
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Old 2015.10.22, 08:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by zeroryouko View Post
Kusari sounds to me like something from the mid-Jihen era; Mayakashi no Blues would have been right at home on Sanmon Gossip. At risk of starting some controversy, I would argue that Shihatsu Mae no Dance Hall (currently my favorite track) is Hamada's answer to Marunouchi Sadistic.
Miren Butterfly is also better as a pulse-pounding leadoff than what Shiina had on Sunny and Reimports, by a country mile.
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Old 2015.10.22, 08:51 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by The Most Curious Thing View Post
Miren Butterfly is also better as a pulse-pounding leadoff than what Shiina had on Sunny and Reimports, by a country mile.
And let's not forget the equally exciting Yurayura Mousou Bed. Plus you get a bit of the 007 flavor with Kyokugei Rondo...really, not a bad track on the album. And the more I think about it, all very Ringo-compatible.
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Old 2015.10.22, 08:55 PM   #9
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Have you listened to the first album yet? It's pretty damn good too.

Pretty sure I'm only person I know that owns the 7" single from that era btw. That seemed to go out of stock the second I mentioned I had it haha.

Seijuku no Marble is getting a full LP pressing, was meant to be early next month but its been pushed back to December now. Has a different closing/bonus track to the CD
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Old 2015.10.22, 09:07 PM   #10
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I actually listened to Hyuro Shoujo Elegy for the first time this morning on the way to work, and you're right, it's also quite excellent. This was actually what inspired me to post about Hamada (that is to say, hearing another album of hers and realizing Seijuku no Marble was not a one-off).

ETA: You're really making me wish I still had a record player.
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