Hailing from Liverpool are 5 piece quintet HICARI. This spectacular band consist of friends Shayaan Oshidar (Lead Vocals), Ryan Bickley (Lead Vocals, Keyboard), Tatsu Saiki (Guitar, Keyboard), Paddy Morrison (Bass) and Will Brown (Drums). The word HICARI actually means ‘light’ in Japanese.
This group literally take my breath away, at this moment in time they’ve released 3 singles and these being Consumed, Catch Fire and Stellar. Each of these songs are pure bliss as they’re drenched in plenty of synth pop goodness.
Now debut single Consumed was sheer perfection, the lyrics were highly contagious and Shayaam’s vocals were sugary sweet. Just listening to this delightful cut sends me in a complete trance. Consumed was shimmering synth pop cut which literally uplifted me from beginning to end. The verses were amazing and you also had a compelling chorus “If you understand me if I’m not on my own/ Let me know/ If you don’t agree tell me next time you’re alone/ If you’re just like me if you see through me/ Let me know/ Because this place is no place to call home”. Also I must say that the exquisite harmonising resonated plenty of folkinsh vibes. Now HICARI are stunning songwriters and this number had been perfectly crafted.
2016 saw HICARI first achieve recognition with their single ‘Catch Fire’ and its remix surpassing over a quarter of a million hits. During the summer, they played to festival crowds including LIMF (Liverpool International Music Festival) & Fusion Festival. They were also invited to perform at the Manchester City vs Bucharest game at the Etihad Stadium.
I’m literally obsessed with this whimsical tune, Catch Fire was pure pop with additional twinkling synths all throughout the song. Now this as a delectable anthem and Oshidar’s glitzy vocals were extremely mesmerising. Just listening to Catch Fire I’m reminded of synth pop bands Chvrches and Paramore (during the Self Titled era). There was infact an anthem feel to this tasty tune and the luscious lyric video saw fans from different cultures come together. Whenever I watch this video I cannot help but grin.
21st April saw Hicari drop their brand new single and this being Stellar. This sparkling song was oozed plenty of synth pop vibes and those sumptuous vocals were very reminiscent to indie pop band The 1975. This was glistening 80s synth pop, Ryan’s vocals were crisp/ hypnotic and then you had Shai’s candy coated tones. I must say that this inspirational number had me hooked from beginning to end and it makes me relish more originals in the future.
This tantalising tune delves deep, it tackles the subject of body image and the pressures to conform to modern-day, media perceptions of unrealistic beauty. “She must have more gravity than Earth/ Because everyone is stuck on her/ Girl you’re out of my world/ Someday you’ll get what you deserve/ Everybody is looking at her/ She’s so stellar/ Why does no one tell her that/ She’s so stellar/ Why does no one tell her that”.
Here is what Oshidar had to say regarding this tune “From the age of 11 to 18 I’d been bullied for being chubby and it has always played on my conscience. My mum always told me otherwise but I was convinced that I wasn’t good enough to be seen as attractive. Where I grew up, physical ‘beauty’ was seen as the only thing that made you worthy of being someone and so I grew up determined to be what people thought was beautiful. Now I see how subjective beauty is, we all perceive it differently and so for me ‘Stellar’ was being on both sides of the spectrum”.
Bickley went on to say “As a kid in school, I always fell for girls who had talent and great personalities. I remember completely falling for a girl because she had such an incredible voice, I couldn’t come to terms with why other guys only talked about the ‘popular’ girls who had nice faces and big boobs. ‘Stellar’ is celebrating how innocent and oblivious I used to be, and rejecting how society has tried to teach me that ‘real beauty’ is on the outside”.
My final thoughts on this Liverpool based band are extremely promising. HICARI are pure synth pop and that was the main reason they appealed to me. Each of those three tunes were out of this world, it definitely showcased their talents at writing amazing pop jams. Ryan and Shai may provide the heavenly vocals but I have to give a shout out to Tatsu Saiki, Paddy Morrison and Will Brown.
From listening to these perfectly polished tunes I can tell they have an extremely tight bond and I can foresee a bright future for them.
26th May – Notting Hill Arts Club, London