Kaneko Ayano’s alternative folk-rock is like a mirror reflecting who we are.
Born in Yokohama, singer-songwriter Kaneko Ayano was probably influenced by indie rock legends like Television or Radiohead, but also by Japanese bands like INU, Happy End, and Siamese Cats. She plays alternative folk rock with a band which includes guitarist Hirotoshi Hayashi, known from Odottebakari no Kuni.
Ayano’s group’s psychedelic guitar sounds and feedback noises might reflect our loneliness or heartaches, and lyrics always seem to stay close to people from the margins who find it difficult to live in this world. But it might as well be just my imagination, because her lyrics themselves are always abstract, so one could interpret her songs in any manner.
Anyway, her songs from the new album “A towel blanket is peaceful” (タオルケットは穏やかな) neutralize my own inner conflicts.
When she plays in the acoustic style, with her voice and guitar only, in some situations we might feel more energy than from her band style. Ayano’s vocal tones are versatile. Sometimes she meows like a cat, howls like a wolf, or calms me down like a parent’s voice.
In my opinion, she could be a role model for young generations in Japan. And it seems that she has more young girls in her audience than other female musicians. She seems to talk to everyone directly, singing in the song “Watashitachihe” (For Us): “To be real ourselves, we should talk together about something in a corner of our hearts.”
I believe that she keeps on calling to people in a tiny corner of this world. And it has always been one of the most important roles of rock music. Come to think of it, her song “Kibun” (Mood) repeats guitar riff like Lou Reed’s minority anthem “Walk on the Wild Side”.
We can listen to her new album in two versions, with her band and acoustic, there’s also her acoustic live album available too on Spotify:
– “A towel blanket is peaceful” LP