Excitement of Youth
Japanese singer-songwriter Aimyon knew just how emotionally complex one’s teenage years could be by the time she released her first album, Excitement of Youth, in 2017. Born in 1995, she started writing her own lyrics as a middle schooler and turning them into songs from her freshman year of high school. By the time of her debut, she had already found her creative voice. Brought to life by her acoustic guitar playing and enriched by her lyrical attention to detail, Aimyon created a multi-faceted statement about growing up in 21st-century Japan—messiness and all. In the same manner that Aimyon digs into the rainbow of emotions adolescents often feel, Excitement of Youth finds her experimenting with a variety of sounds to make these feelings connect. Grounded in her acoustic guitar, Aimyon delivers lo-fi folk catharsis (“Akogaretekitanda”) and fragile reflections assisted by violin swoops (“Itsumademo”), while also picking up the tempo when reveling in the intimacy relationships can bring (“Futari No Sekai”). Every element comes together to create an album capturing how maddening and fleeting it all feels during adolescence, whether it's the anxiety of losing a new love or a worry about the future. The album may be called Excitement of Youth, but death haunts the corners, particularly the wrenching “Ikiteitandayona.” Based on the story of a high schooler who died by suicide while others gawked, the story opens with pain and anger before strings and piano transform it into a celebration of a life lived. Being young isn’t easy, and Aimyon managed to connect with a generation by refusing to simplify the experience.