Like many of her releases, singer/songwriter Priscilla Ahn’s new album is a Japan-only release. It consists of 10 songs that she wrote for Studio Ghibli’s 2014 animated film Omoide no Marnie. And the album is making me really, really want to see the film. Each of the 10 songs, which are largely folk, are quite beautiful.
Surprisingly, all of the songs here are actually in English. Priscilla has done some singing in Japanese before, so I’m baffled as to why she didn’t at least do a Japanese version of the movie’s theme song, “Fine On The Outside.” Not that it makes a difference to me. I mean, I don’t actually know Japanese, as you probably know, so I’m glad the songs are in English for the most part. Just kind of wondering why there’s no Japanese at all if the songs were written for a Japanese film. I think the fact that the songs are in English will make the movie feel more emotive when we finally get to see it in the States because you won’t have to read subtitles to understand the songs, unlike the dialogue. And if it isn’t released here at all, well, then the songs might help you at least get a general idea of what’s going on in the film if you buy the Japanese import.
There’s really no point to writing about individual songs here because they’re all quite similar. In a good way, though. To describe them, they’re all performed largely with acoustic guitar, often without percussion. Along with occasional orchestration. Very gentle music. Although the songs aren’t actual lullabies, they might as well be because this is the perfect music to listen to while drifting off to sleep at night. With most albums, I might find one or two songs that are mellow enough for one of my Good Night playlists, but with this album I actually added every single song to my latest playlist.
I once read an interview where the artist said that every album is an opposite reaction to their previous album. One album might be loud, rock music and the next might be chilled out folk music. To that end, Priscilla’s last album, This Is Where We Are, found her dabbling in electronic soundscapes for a change and I quite liked it. But Just Know That I Love You is like the exact opposite of that. Most of the songs here don’t even have beats, never mind loud electronic beats. With some of the songs on This Is Where We Are, it felt like she was trying to jolt you with its punchy beats. There were some acoustic songs, but others were quite lively. I suppose you’d have to call Just Know That I Love You lively, too, but it’s lively in a different way, giving the listener daydreams instead of something to bob their head to. But in both cases one thing remains the same: Priscilla’s vocals are soft like a brand new pillow, always calm, cool and collected. Tres heartwarming, too. If you’ve liked anything she’s done in the past, chances are you’d fall in love with this album. I sure as hell do.