Available: November/December 2018
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. has released her debut under this moniker via Phantom Limb in July 2018. NEW OPTIMISM is Miho’s new invigorated 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 Noodle) 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.
“I never heard experimental pop crossed with Brasilo-beat and noisy synths like this …the track can barely contain the originality bursting out of every seam. Also, I fucking love that Miho’s new music is a response to the New Sincerity movement, aka the defining vibe of our generation. Can’t wait to hear more” – FACT
“Joyfully close to completely falling apart before suddenly snapping triumphantly into sharp focus; best of all, this sense of punch-drunk euphoria can be found all the way through” – CMU: Approved
“High-flying and super-styling” – The Week in Pop
“Very magnetic – the perfect soundtrack to fire up the crowds” – God is in the TV
“Unquestionably multitalented as well as multilingual…We should all be grateful that Miho Hatori speaks the universal language of music so fluently.” – Impose
“Elusive pop fantasias, and intentionally so.” – Pitchfork