Morfonica - Daylight
Violinist Ayasa steals the show, pure and simple.
Since Bushiroad, the creators of “BanG Dream!” – a multimedia franchise centred around live and virtual all-female rock bands – began expanding their stable of live acts in 2016, they can hardly be accused of lacking imagination. The franchise’s poster girls, happy-go-lucky pop-rockers Poppin’Party, were first joined by lace-ruffled melodic rock band Roselia, and later by hyper-energetic electro-rockers RAISE A SUILEN in 2018. Then, back in March this year, a fourth act was unveiled: Morfonica.
Whereas Poppin’Party and Roselia’s line-ups consist wholly of professional voice actresses who portray their alter-egos in various “BanG Dream!” media, RAISE A SUILEN broke that mould with the inclusion of veteran drummer Natsume. Bushiroad went a step further when casting Morfonica, enlisting drum instructor mika and, most intriguingly, established solo violinist Ayasa.
Far from being a case of gimmicky stunt-casting, Ayasa looks to have been hired for legitimate musical reasons if the quintet’s debut single Daylight is anything to go by. From intro to outro, her violin goes quiet for less than sixty seconds of the title track’s five-minutes-thirty runtime. B-side Kiniro e no Prelude is less saturated, but there’s still no pretence of parity between the violin and Hina Suguta’s guitar.
Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old frontwoman Amane Shindo gives a fair account of herself in her recording debut. Producer Junpei Fujita doesn’t make any unreasonable demands on the debutante vocalist’s range, and her bandmates come out in force for the harmonies that liven up both tracks’ choruses.
Ultimately, enjoyment of Morfonica’s debut will hinge upon the listener’s appetite for wall-to-wall violin. Such is the prominence of Ayasa, it’s a tad surprising Elements Garden – the songwriting team behind all “BanG Dream!” songs – didn’t assign their in-house strings specialist Daisuke Kikuta to this project. The status quo may change in future releases, but as things stand, Ayasa is the star of this show.
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