Down is the first album of the new HAMIDASYSTEM; Me and She are two idols moving among shoegaze, rock and electronic sounds.
As we all already know, three of the former HAMIDASYSTEM members shifted to a new group called クロスノエシス (CROSSNOESIS); we also know that the original project got two new members in their place and with this renewed line-up they released their first album titled down.

Just a week ago, we had the pleasure of seeing a MV from Me and She, the new faces of this unit. “存在しないぞんざいな愛” (Sonzai Shinai Zonzai na Ai), whose title is a bit of a tongue twister, is included in down and shows the basic formula of the album: some sort of atmospheric and slightly EDM-influenced sound enriched by shoegazey guitars and quiet, delicate vocals. While my definition already seems good, the song is a lot better at highlighting their music’s main features.

HAMIDASYSTEM‘s album is best described as calming and emotional, rarely getting truly intense and choosing to act more subtly, especially in tracks like “19才” (19sai). The instrumentals pay a lot of attention to many details using drawing from genres such as indie rock and shoegaze and making synths and guitars work together, as shown in the apparently simple yet beautiful melodies of “Solid” which pave the way for the titletrack; at the same time, they also take care of various background elements creating atmosphere, even using gloomy pads in “ヒズミ” (Hizumi) or getting a bit noisy in “黄昏の君” (Tasogare No Kimi). Every now and then, the electronic parts manage to take over for a bit leading to some unusual moments like the danceable beats of “黎明の貴方” (Reimei No Anata) and the synthetic bassline in “夢うつつにキスをして” (Yumeutsutsu Ni Kiss Wo Shite).

On top of all this, Me and She’s vocal performance matches its instrumental counterpart, with a refined and emotionally powerful singing in charge of the songs’ main melodic aspect. Things get especially great in “蝉の声” (Semi No Koe) — one of the most experimental tracks — where the girls’ voices intertwine in a very interesting way; on the other hand, “傷の音” (Kizu No Oto) is a more standard one, yet its heartful vocals make it on of the best songs of the album.

With down, we can confirm that HAMIDASYSTEM‘s reboot-like thing has been succesful. The instrumentals here are top-notch and the new members’ vocals — despite sounding just a bit weak every now and then — are good enough to make this album a very pleasant one.