Amazon To LeFrak
July 27nd 2018
“Elusive pop fantasias, and intentionally so.”
“Unquestionably multitalented as well as multilingual...We should all be grateful that Miho Hatori speaks the universal language of music so fluently.”
NYC’s rare and inimitable talent New Optimism (aka Japanese musician Miho Hatori, co-founder of the beloved Cibo Matto and a collaborative partner of Gorillaz, The Beastie Boys, John Zorn etc.) releases her debut EP Amazon To LeFrak through Phantom Limb.
New Optimism is Miho’s newest project, a vivid, unpredictable and technicolour sonic palette that shapeshifts mercurially around grooving basslines, subtle electronica, leftfield sound explorations and playful experimental pop.
New Optimism can be seen as a natural landing point for Miho’s past musical journeys - strange and wonderful, encompassing pop, experimental, hip-hop and dance music: her work with Beck’s backing musicians may have contributed to the brightly-coloured avant-soul of Amazon To LeFrak; her time as a Gorillaz member (Miho was the voice of cartoon band-member Noodles) offers a window into the intelligent, mischievous pop songwriting heard in New Optimism’s structure-toying and Miho’s infectious singing voice. The strains of Caribbean/Brasilo-beat littered through the record are evidence of Miho’s fascination with Latin music and follow her curveball 2003 bossanova duet album with Smokey Hormel. The additional production credits of ex-Vampire Weekend member Rostam [Batmanglij] enter the mix as noise-driven synth lines and bubbling percussion.