During the pandemic, there has not been much room for any pleasurable experiences or times. Each day comes with worse news, setting your expectations a bit lower for the future. I mainly focus on work and philosophy, mostly because not really in the right mindset to enjoy some other parts of life. One thing I do enjoy now though is when I discovered this series on youtube called The First Take.
I listen to a lot of jazz, classical, piano, and non-English music while I read and work. After discovering The First Take, I keep coming back to it more than anything else this summer. One big part is that my favorite part of music is people’s amazing and unique voices, so I love the acoustic nature of it. Another is that a lot of these songs are featured on anime, which is one of the main things I spend doing in my leisure, so I really enjoy seeing these songs in full and live.
Another aspect that might be something that other people appreciate about these, is that they are like the quarantine equivalent of a concert. These singers and musicians come into some studio to sing their song by themselves. Sitting alone in my room with these videos is a nice, little, pleasurable experience that I look forward to when I inevitably throw it on during the week.
Lastly, I, along with every other music lover, just likes to see people having fun and seeing music done so passionately. It is not with sarcasm that I say this : as much as I love the impact of philosophers, poets, directors, writers, and what have you, I truly enjoy musicians the most I would say.
The first video in this series I saw was this duet from Necry Talkie and Kana-boon. This is not how the original song goes, both parts of the lyrical dialogue-story were sung by the lead singer before. Now, we have two different voices playing out this little story in this song. This song turned me onto Necry Talkie’s music as well, seeing another unique voice. One of the great things about this is how they start off both a bit quiet and nervous about doing it in one take. They mess up a bit throughout the song and laugh it off, but both end up doing really well and their voices go perfectly together for this duet.
Another one that I love is this new one by YOASOBI. Her voice is amazing at the natural pace, so much so that the original version of this song with some autotune and what seems to be sped up is not listenable anymore.
First heard this song in the anime Dorororo, but seeing it live was different. This video took the internet by storm, since the vocal range by the singer is massive, while having some eerie and enchanting tune at certain parts too.
Lisa has by far one of the most noticeable voices from all of Japan, doing some of the most well known anime openings. This song by her really highlights the power of her vocals, something you can put on repeat and not get bored of ever.
We see an acoustic version of the ever so popular Tokyo Ghoul anime opening, which somehow was even better.
One of the more recent ones that blew me away was this duet from the people who did the Love is War anime opening. This episode makes me like the anime somehow even more. This duet is so fun and enjoyable. The guy in this video has an awesome stage attire, with sunglasses on inside as they should be. The girl in this video has a fantastic dress and is so confident and also fierce in the way she sings all her parts. Truly one of the better videos, and another addition to the underrated collection of duets in music history.
The one that really gets me the most is this one. Her voice is absolutely perfect and so powerful. I never get too emotional over things, but damn she sang this so well. She comes up looking a bit nervous, saying she is nervous, and absolutely blows this out of the water.
There are so many other good ones as well. This and Tiny Desk concerts feature a nice genre of chill, music jam sessions on the internet that I wish there was more of.
The beauty of these videos is that, for just a moment, it is just me and some singer, possibly some musicians, that demand and receive all my attention, forgetting the outside world, for one short but pleasurable moment.