Hisato Higuchi — キ、Que、消えん？ – Ki, Que, Kien? (Ghost Disc)
Since 2003, Tokyo-based guitarist Hisato Higuchi has quietly released a series of equally-quiet albums, many on his own Ghost Disc label, which is appropriately named. Higuchi’s work on this and the previous two albums of his “Disappearing Trilogy” is a sort of shimmering, melancholy guitar-and-vocal atmosphere — downer psych-folk in a drifting haze. His lyrics are more imagery than story, touching on overflowing light, winter cities, the quiet world, and the transience of memories. As the guitar floats slowly into the distance, Higuchi’s voice, imbued with reverb, is calmly narcotic, like someone quietly sympathizing with a friend’s troubles. These songs, while melancholy, convey a peacefulness that’s a welcome counterbalance to the chaotic year in which we’ve been living. Like a cool wind on a warm summer evening, you can close your eyes and let Higuchi’s music improve your mood.