Dynamic, full of life and skilfully genre-blended
Sofie Lindevall
10:32 20th October 2020

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Multi-instrumentalist, saxophonist, rapper, artist, composer, producer, record label owner: Sen Morimoto already has a lot of merits on his CV at only 26-years old. Two years after the Chicago jazz-rap-indie-pop artist’s debut album, he's back with his self-titled follow-up and it's every bit as dynamic and full of life as it’s predecessor. 

Sen Morimoto started playing the saxophone at an early age, and although he has taught himself a number of other instruments since, it's the harmonic layers of jazzy saxophone melodies that grab hold of you from the first note of the album’s opening track ‘Love Money Pt 2’ and carries you through all the way to the end. 

Where Sen Morimoto’s 2018 debut album Cannonball! could feel beat-based and unpredictable at times, the follow-up is a confident move to a more melodic and coherent sound. Having already been compared to the likes of jazz-rap fusion heavy weights BADBADNOTGOOD, Sen Morimoto is an album full of glimpses and elements reminiscent of funky-jazz-soul à la Thundercat and Steve Lacy, alongside vocal-melodies-floating-into-rap-lines as smooth as the late Mac Miller.

The album's lead single ‘Woof’, clearly set the scene for what was to come with the opening line “I’m too tired for pretending to be happy / Now I’m crying so loud that my dog is barking at me” when released back in July. Lyrical themes are introspective, heartfelt and raw all the way through the album and almost every song feels like an invitation into Sen Morimoto’s personal sphere.

Having spent the last two years on the road touring not only with his own music, but also as a member of Chicago jazz collective Reservoir and together with artists Lala Lala and KAINA, Sen Morimoto has brough some of these collaborative elements with him on the album too – second single ‘Deep Down’ features dreamy vocals from Japanese electronic musician AAAMYYY, the track ‘Wrecked’ a verse by fellow Sooper Records owner NNAMDÏ, ‘The Box’ lines by Chicago rapper Joseph Chilliams and ‘Butterflies’ sees the return of KAINA who we already know from her Cannonball! feature.

As a whole, Sen Morimoto’s sophomore album is a skilful showcase of a young and promising artist’s many musical talents – a collection of genre-blending songs that, despite consisting of pieces picked up from a range of different musical styles, neatly fits together like a jigsaw puzzle with fuzzy, overlapping edges.

Sen Morimoto arrives 23 October via Sooper Records.

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Photo: Press