This album has been stuck to the speakers over here for a little while and its understated grace is evident from the first hushed strains. Finding some common ground with the minimalist natural wonder of Green-House or Julianna Barwick, Satomi’s delicate folk creates a terrarium of sound that’s easy to get lost in, despite its seemingly small stature. A world unto itself, Hanazono is built on slender plucks, diaphanous vocals, and a crumbling ambiance that echos the harsher world tapping at the glass of Satomimagae’s encapsulated garden respite. Even as adrift and isolated as the world has become, Satomimagae’s aural landscapes can make distance feel not only necessary, but comforting. Its imperative to create a barrier to the burden and the gentle pluck and effusive whirl of Satomi’s songs swaddle the soul with each patient note.
Aside from pillowing the partitions of our lives, the songs on Hanozono entrance the listener with a hypnotic pull. The songs don’t root themselves in hooks, but the slow build of Satomi’s sonic whirlpool drags the listener under the spell all the same. While she’s spun this secret world to shelter the soul, it comes with a price at times. There’s comfort at every turn, but notes of sadness slink into the soil of her garden as well. The contrast between comfort and the buried hurt beneath brightens the colors and deepens the desires within the confines of the album. I’d implore anyone looking to hide a little, to get lost time and again in Satomimagae’s wonderful new record a kaleidoscope of light, love, pain, and patience.
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