News, Reviews

Sen Morimoto Shares New Single “Bad State” Taken From Forthcoming New Album “Diagnosis” out November 3rd

September 11, 2023
Photo credit: Sammy Sutter



Chicago artist Sen Morimoto, who’s coming off a career-defining Pitchfork Fest Chicago performance and who last month announced Diagnosis, his third LP releasing November 3rd, is back with “Bad State”, the latest track taken from it. The song balances brightly lit jazz-pop with big, menacing rock guitars and comes with a visualiser filmed by Sen’s brother, the Japan-based filmmaker Yuya Morimoto. Of the track and video, Sen notes:

“Bad State” is about learning to ask for help and using real human connection to escape the shame and numbness that comes from constant forward momentum and our self-worth being so deeply tied to productivity under the logic of capitalism. 

My brother Yuya is a filmmaker based in Japan and we’ve been making videos together since we were kids. I love every opportunity I get to work with him! We filmed the video around the forest and mill towns we grew up in, where high speed internet was only introduced in the past couple of years. Those landscapes juxtapose the format of the video which sets the whole story within the phone you’re watching it on, with the character stuck inside, trying to climb their way back to real life.”

Yuya adds “The medium is the message, and my hope is that this video is able to convey some of the song’s energy in a visually interesting way.” The song follows singles “Diagnosis” and “If The Answer Isn’t Love”, which were used to create connecting videos

Sen’s sincerity shines once more through this gripping arrangement. Sen injects this sincere soul into the vivid landscape created from start to finish, it’s the vocal notes and lyrical hooks that keep you fixated on the voyage. Whilst this expressive abundance of textures fills the landscape, complex tonalities and buoyant rhythms emerge. Sen’s creations also have immense appeal, there is no way you can’t feel every affectionate and crucial element that sculpts this arrangement.

The forthcoming 13-track-long effort marks a fundamental shift both sonically and thematically. Exploring a wide range of genres and musical influences— alternative pop, dark rock, bright jazzy-infused pop, glistening orchestral soundscapes, and even subdued singer-songwriter sounds are detectable within the musical revelation that is Diagnosis. The topical shift as well brings exploration of childhood, American identity, nostalgia, and the insidious nature of late-stage capitalism— a notable change from his previous introspective works such as his 2018 debut Cannonball! and the 2021 self-titled follow-up. 

1. If The Answer Isn’t Love

2. Bad State

3. St. Peter Blind

4. Diagnosis

5. Pressure On The Pulse

6. Naive

7. Feel Change

8. What You Say

9. Surrender

10. Deeper

11. Pain

12. Forsythia (レンギョウの旋律)

13. Reality

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