Wasuremono 忘れ物 (Japanese noun. Meaning: lost article; something forgotten) are a quartet lead by multi-instrumentalist William Southward. The band is a vessel through which he channels his love to write, record and meticulously arrange atmospheric pop songs in his shed studio in Bradford-On-Avon, UK.
The latest gem to emerge is Big Big Smiles – a skittish, infectious tune that sees William play with space and rhythm.
At times Big Big Smiles is quite sparse, in contrast to the symphonic stylings that have become the band’s trademark. Bone dry guitars play off against the Linn Drum Machine beat that was the genus of the track. There is however room for the recognisable synth washes, layered vocals and melodic reverb that so often takes Wasuremono’s sound skywards.
Southward always starts with the music, and the lyrics and sentiment reveal themselves to him part way through the process. In this case, they’re quite poignant:
“On reflection I think this song is about depression that hides behind a smile. How people’s true feelings can be masked by a fake smile and how sometimes the saddest people, can smile the brightest. The song sounds quite disjointed and maniacal in places, which gives a sense of the true feelings forcing their way through.”
Ultimately though, a chief driver as ever is that classic pop sensibility: “I managed to get 7 catchy vocal hooks crammed into this 3-minute song, I think that’s a record for me.”
Watch the video clip for Big Big Smiles via YouTube below.
In tackling these themes, there is a direct continuation on from last year’s acclaimed album ‘Are You Ok?’, which had issues of mental health at the forefront of its narrative. The release of this saw the band fall into a similar space as the likes of Pizzagirl, Barrie, Girl Ray and The Undercover Dream Lovers in its addictive, sophisticated LoFi pop.
On the live side, support slots with the iconic Flaming Lips and Phosphorescent have seen the band take in legendary London venues the Shepherd’s Bush Empire and KOKO.
Wasuremono are William Southward, Madelaine Ryan, Phoebe Phillips and Isaac Phillips.
Big Big Smiles was written, produced and mixed by William Southward and is out now via The Wilderness Records.