News, Reviews

Hinako Omori Shares New Single ‘foundation’

July 6, 2023
Press shot by Luca Bailey


Shares new single foundation
Second look at new body of work, set to follow
Headline show at London’s ICA announced for December 2nd

Following last year’s release of her highly acclaimed exploration into therapeutic sounds, ‘a journey…’, today London-based artist Hinako Omori shares a second look at a new, more song-based body of work, set to unfold over the coming months through Houndstooth.

Last month the organic, introspective track “in full bloom” marked the start of this new chapter, which sees Omori’s work as a sound engineer shine as she marries intricate sonics and a full spectrum of synth-led sounds whilst allowing her delicate vocal melodies to step to the forefront.

Now, along with news of a headline show at London’s ICA on December 2nd, Hinako shares “foundation” – a cinematic slice of cosmic synth-pop, with Omori’s stunning vocals atop the cornucopia, contrasting with the whirl of mechanical, interlocking arpeggiators beneath.

“foundation is a letter to ourselves on trusting our intuition and inner guidance to lead us along our unique paths” she comments. “The object on the cover artwork (cyanotype printed and designed by Emi Takahashi) is a trick lock which I found at a Japanese antique store – it’s an old padlock for a kura, which is a traditional storehouse where you would keep your most valuable possessions. I thought it could be a fitting metaphor for the song, where the ‘kura’ represents our mind – and how the only things that block us from working through our stuck points are the tricks and barriers we place on ourselves, and our own inhibitions.”

Hinako Omori laces this sincerity in the enthralling drive of this encompassing exploration. A landscape awash with emotive torrents anchoring to the foundations of this affectionate arrangement. A genuinely cutting performance emits from the fragility of this vision. A soundscape which is built upon organic textures and touching vocal harmonies driving the sentimentality through the lyrics and the layered melodies, the striking placement of the notes gently glide through the atmosphere.

Hinako Omori is a composer who thinks deeply about her music and provides generously to her listeners. Born in Yokohama, Japan, she moved to the UK when she was three years old and lives in London. She began her musical path learning classical piano, later training as a sound engineer, and has since moved into working with analogue synths. In addition to releasing her own solo material she has toured with and played on records by a raft of critically acclaimed musicians, including Kae TempestGeorgia, and EOB, among many others, but it is her work in sound engineering that provides the bedrock of skills that manifest her vision for her solo work, articulating a whole world in binaural field recordings, analogue synthesisers and augmented vocals.

Since 2022’s critically acclaimed debut album, ‘a journey…’, Omori has fast become one of the UK’s most compelling breakthrough musicians, blurring the lines between classical, electronic and ambient. A concept album inspired by the ancient Japanese ritual of forest bathing, ‘a journey…’s lush textures, rooted in nature, were called “remarkable” by Pitchfork and received heavy rotation on BBC 6Music. Omori’s potent blend of therapeutic frequencies, drones and her ethereal falsetto connected: she has since supported Beth OrtonAnna Meredith and Ichiko Aoba, played with a 60-piece orchestra for BBC Radio 3’s Unclassified and, later this year, will joinFloating Points’ esteemed ensemble at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles to perform Promises, his collaborative album with the late Pharoah Sanders.

Where ‘a journey…’ used binaural sounds and focussed on the therapeutic properties of music, her forthcoming work shifts the focus to shine a light on our shadow sides – the act of facing our fears, letting go and finding peace and stillness within ourselves. More information to follow in due course.

Hinako Omori will play London’s ICA on December 2nd, 2023.

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