SaToA - スリーショット

satoa three shot cover.jpg

SaToA, a band comprised of three girls Sachiko (guitar), Tomoko (bass) and Ami (drums), has released this mini album スリーショット (“Three Shot” is the term Japanese use to describe a portrait of three people together), as shown by the album cover. It’s all very DIY and the recording is relatively low-fi, which all adds to the charm. Their main feature is that the girls sing at the same time, there is no lead vocal, and coupled with the DIY spirit, it gives the impression that they really just enjoy hanging out and playing music together.

When I first heard this sound, I instantly knew it was something special. For me at least. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there is a comforting familiarity about it despite being new and original. Intentional or not, it seems like a perfect accompaniment to a summer road trip, the kind that you may have had years ago that exists only in your faded memories because there were no smartphones to document it back then. The sound is a really eclectic mix of things, it’s sort of folk with elements of funk, soul and blues, something borrowed, something old, with a bit of reverb to really make it sound like it came from another time and place.

Digging a little bit, it turns out that unlike most Japanese cover bands who base their sound on their musical heroes, SaToA just go with the flow, whatever they feel works. So even if you try compare them with She & Him, HAIM, Camera Obscura or the Clientele, chances are they’ve never heard of them. However, it transpires that among them, they like 90’s Shibuya-kei, Chara, Towa Tei, Okamura Yasuyuki and Yura Yura Teikoku. Now it makes sense.

So if that’s your bag, then you’re going to love SaToA as much as I do.

Royce Leong