January 11 2023
Makoto Gomi and Shoko Inoue’s playlist
While shoegaze and dream pop in general tends to prioritise atmosphere and texture over all else, sphere has long held a slightly different approach to those styles. There’s a directness and drive to sphere’s tunes; an immediacy rooted in conventional rock and pop that marks the project out from peers whose instincts are instead more abstract and technical.
Since forming in 2004, sphere’s sole constant member has been guitarist and programmer Makoto Gomi. These days the project features guitarist and vocalist Shoko Inoue (previously of Tokyo Shoegazer) alongside Gomi, though, despite a stripped-back line-up, the band remains as sonically vast and immersive as they’ve ever been.
2022’s A Fusion of Two Hemispheres was the fourth sphere record and the project’s first full-length album since 2011. Largely a continuation of sphere’s character and sound up to now, it was another unequivocal exploration of shoegaze’s softer, upper-register regions. Read The Glow’s full recommendation of that record here.
Following the release of A Fusion of Two Hemispheres, we reached out to Gomi and Inoue to curate a Selector for The Glow. Their playlist was created with a theme of ‘songs I want to listen to in the morning’ – here’s what they chose.
While the worldview of the lyrics of “Here’s Where The Story Ends” is not at all reminiscent of morning, the fresh acoustic guitar strokes and drum beat are pleasant and perfect for mornings. They make you want to open the curtains and embrace the sparkling morning sunlight. Makoto Gomi
This song reminds me of those casual but special mornings when you are on holiday with no plans, making a cup of coffee and thinking about how you are going to spend the day. Though seemingly monotonous, each day offers the surprise of the unknown; “Lemondrop” is like the noise that envelops the vague anxiety of those kinds of days, while the sweet and sour voice makes my mornings gentle. Shoko Inoue
This song is only for winter. Jump out of bed, quickly change into whatever clothes you have lying around, put your rucksack on, open the front door, straddle your bike, cut through the chill and get to work in good spirits!...this is the song you want to play when you have to do all that. I don't commute, though. Makoto Gomi
The melody bleeds into the soundscape like the clear morning air, like everyday life passing by without a hitch. And yet it is also filled with a certain pain, a sting that sometimes sticks to remind us of the pain that each of us has overcome. There are some mornings when that sweet venom is definitely needed – and that is why this song must be listened to from time to time. Shoko Inoue
I like to play this song on mornings when I'm making plans with a friend I know well. On those mornings, I haven’t decided where to go, but I've promised to hang out. I also remember it being used in the film Vanilla Sky. Makoto Gomi
I feel like running away. Energy to get your heart racing even on a normal day. You feel like you can go anywhere. Shoko Inoue
This isn’t a very morning-like song, but when I don't want to get out of bed, I put it on repeat about ten times (because it’s short) and stick with it. As you can imagine, after listening to it ten times, I get tired of it and feel like getting up. Makoto Gomi
Author: Ed Cunningham
Artist Tags: sphere