ena mori (Facebook)

Local alt synth pop act ena mori recently dropped her first full length album under Offshore Records.

Said album, titled “Don’t Blame the Wild One!” is a 12-track showcase of synth-heavy pop as delivered by Japanese-Filipino ena mori and produced by (and with) collaborator timothy Run. We’ve seen ena mori live once (with two of her cohorts in their live band and laptop setup) and it is a scintillating sound that they make. On record, it is even better. As a singer, we can hear traces of Tori Amos, Kate Bush with some Karmin thrown in. But in the context of what she does here throughout, she’s her own artist. The rubbery intro sounds that open first track “DBTWO!” sees ena mori on full eclectic as she straddles the line between dance and alt pop.  But it’s a place she’s obviously comfortably settled in as she dishes genre-blurring numbers like the equally enigmatic “Vivid.”

No doubt that she’s on club mode on rising “King of the Night’ that comes complete with drops and ear-tweaking choruses.

ena mori

The Tori Amos and Kate Bush references couldn’t be more obvious on the 80s sounding “Oh, Bleeding Hearts.” As far as what we can hear, we’ll throw in some Peter Gabriel in there for good measure.  But really, if you’re this heavy into synth music, it’s inevitable to get the 80s comparisons. But to be clear, it is done so here with the best of intentions.

Other points of interest include the style-bending “Talk! Talk! Moody “A Higher Place” is a great song and has a great arrangement. Big points for the big brass highlight, ditto the hook-heavy “SOS.”

DBTWO! official album art ena mori

This early (the album was released 2 a fortnight ago), ena mori is scoring big on the retro wave feels of “Fall InLove!” A lovely-sounding, mid-tempo love song through and through whatever sonic style it’s wrapped into.

The tracks appear to seamlessly build one after the other on this album. By track 10 (“White Room”) and succeeding tracks “Runaway Holiday” (frickin’ Revel should play this) to closing track “Falling InLove! (Reimagined)”, we’re still hanging around to check out what ena mori’s going to pull out of her trick bag.    

Which is to say that “Don’t Blame The Wild One!” is a great listen from start to finish.

“Bullet Train Original Soundtrack” is a 14-track collection that features original music from composer Dominic Lewis (The King’s Man) and new unreleased music recorded exclusively for the film that spans alternative, pop, Latin, and classics done in Japanese stylings.

Included is Avu-chan (Queen Bee) who contributes a slick cover of the Bee Gees’ classic “Stayin’ Alive” executed in Japanese. Engelbert Humperdinck re-emerges with “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” Edgy UPSAHL menacingly croons on rock-imbued original “My Time To Shine” Alejandro Sanz sings on Lewis-written “La Despedida.” Also included on the soundtrack is Miki Asakura’s “Holding Out For A Hero (Dance Version)” and  Kyu Sakamoto “Sukiyaki”.

Completing the track listing are Siiickbrain ft. Pussy Riot in “Power,” Tamio Okuda on “Kill Me Pretty,” Big Fella with “Couple of Fruits,” Carmen Maki on “Tokiniwa Hahano Naikono Yoni (Like a Child Without A Mother),” Shuggie Otis with “Sweet Thang,” Song For Memories’ “Five Hundred Miles,” classic rockers Rare Earth with “I Just Want To Celebrate” and  Dominic Lewis’ “Momomon.”

“Bullet Train” is a Brad Pitt starrer as an unlucky assassin codenamed Ladybug. Directed by David Leitch (Deadpool) with a screenplay by Zak Olkewicz. The movie is based on the book by Kotaro Isaka.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2022/08/08/audio-junkie-the-inscrutable-ena-mori-and-other-points-of-interest/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=audio-junkie-the-inscrutable-ena-mori-and-other-points-of-interest)