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Photo credit: Tomohiro Takeshita

TRACK BY TRACK BREAKDOWN: Think Wisely EP by The Wisely Brothers

Formed as high school teens in 2010, Tokyo-based alternative/indie-pop trio The Wisely Brothers have firmly established themselves as one of the most exciting acts on the Japanese indie scene. Their sound is one of 90s-tinged nostalgia, awash with jangly guitar riffs, expansive melancholic melodies, and beautiful vocal harmonies (with all three members singing). For fans of The Pastels, Pavement, Yo La Tango, The Velvet Underground and Marine Girls.

In November, The Wisely Brothers will play their first ever UK live dates, and ahead of their visit they have released their brand new EP, Think Wisely. About thethe EP, the band say: “We made the EP while imagining to deliver our music to people in countries far away. Even though our expression is poor and clumsy, we hope our music/sound will make people feel encouraged. And we believe that will give us encouragement in the end. Also, the EP is our determination to be ourself in the music scene, to never stop thinking / taking care of what happens to us and around us (in positive way) and to continue the band.”

We asked the trio to break down the EP track by track for us. Read it below.

Two minutes
In Japan, it’s said that seeing spider in the morning brings luck to you. It was a inspiration to make this song. The song was originally 2 different song ideas which were made in the studio session. We put together and it turned out to be fun and unique aerobics-esque music.

Serious and thrilling, but also comical and strange. Having 2 aspects in a song is a unique point of the song.

Even in the studio session, we had never had this type of sound and atmosphere. We can say that we discovered new side of us with help from the recording engineer, Mr. Hiroshi Ikeda, at hmc studio.

The weird chop and edit intro sound was made from lip vibration of Izumi (bassist), which she coincidentally emitted in the recording session.

Julia is a song about imaginary lady but we even don’t know about her and are still wondering who she is. We aimed to have the song dreamy, unique, romantic atmosphere from the beginning of jam session, then trim it down to make sharp and solid.

Whispering poetry reading vocals leads the listeners into dream deeply.

Mayer Hawthorne was the reference when we started making the song.

“Sonomama” means “Stay Still” in Japanese.

This is our style of skit (interlude) that we really wanted to make. The tune is light and bouncy but also has got our rebel spirit and innocence in it.

Since we formed the band 12 years ago, we’ve been really enjoying the process of making songs through jam session in rehearsal studio. We have never intended to make perfect and beautiful songs. We have rather enjoyed sound experimentation and process of built up unseen (unheard) music. The song is a proof how we’ve progressed as a band.

This song is about colors in our mind, verbal expression and lack of vocabulary. Yo La Tengo and Lou Reed were inspiration and reference.

The song was really a simple and plain at the beginning and we loved it. But suddenly we remembered that we wanted to enjoy the recordings and make unique sounds. So we tried various things such like singing in poetry reading style and insert a break in the middle of the song.

The music may make you feel uncomfortable and weird but at the same time you will realize that the song is very addictive and make you want to listen to it again.


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