Transcendent. That's the first word that came to mind upon listening to Golin's EP, Momo. The hyper-fun, electronic explosion was addicting, to say the least. I found myself repeating her music on the U-Bahn, the best subway in Berlin, and each listening experience showed me a new depth. Her lyrics, all in Japanese, spoke to me because of its simplicity and sincerity. Intrigued to find out more about Golin's music, I had a quick chat with her. After learning about her a bit more, I can say that I never want to leave the world of Momo.
Thank you so much for speaking to me today! I’m really excited for this interview. How have you been feeling lately?
Very erratic with the full moon in Libra- but things calmed down now.
Was music something that was always in your life or did you discover it later on? Growing up, what kind of artists did you listen to? If they had some sort of influence on you, could you expand on that?
I grew up listening to pop music by artists like SMAP and Amuro Namie. I also got into Akiko Shikata’s scores for anime. I went through phases and bounced around different genres.
I’d also like to know how you started doing music. You have such a distinct style and I’m curious to see how it developed.
I studied classical piano which led me to sing and write emo pop songs.
Ah, I see! I’d like to hear about your EP, Momo. Both sonically and lyrically speaking, it’s so bold, vibrant, and bright. I can use more synonyms but all in all, shiny is the word I’d use to describe it as a whole. The electronic melodies are oftentimes high pitched and mellifluous, which support your vocals very well. When and how did this EP come about?
My friends ran Midlife label at the time. I had already been performing live but never released anything. It was fast in the way it happened. The tracks came from different moments in a span of 2 years. I didn't really think it through, I had a lot of unreleased music that I wanted to share.
Your EP starts off with ‘Doki,’ which is an instrumental track. It’s quite mysterious sounding but somehow sexy and cheeky at the same time. I feel like it’s the perfect opening track, as it gently introduces you to the world of Golin. How was this song born?
It came last from the others. I needed an epic entrance. I used the sounds from the other tracks to create the overture.
Moving on, ‘Momoko’ is an empowering song to me. It feels like the song is this confident anthem sang by a natural-born leader. You say words like ‘makasetoke (leave it up to me)’ and ‘shinjitene (believe me).’ Lines such as ‘…chisana tatakai (a small battle)’ and ‘hi ga moeteru (a fire is burning)’ paints this picture of you being a badass femme fatale. I personally really like this line in particular: ‘afureru kimochi wo kurikaese (repeat that overflowing feeling).’ It’s so beautiful. Could you talk about the inspiration behind this song?
Momoko introduces Golin. I grew up reading about a hero from Japanese folklore called Momotaro ‘peach boy.’ Momoko is about exchanging energies.
My favorite track is probably ‘Hikatteru,’ which means ‘(is) shining.’ The melody itself is very catchy and a little reminiscent of ‘Doki,’ for some reason. It’s subtle but strong. One other element I love is, yes you guessed it- the lyrics. It sounds non-narrative to me, which I like. The listener gets to take your words as they are, because you’re listing a list of things that are shining. For instance, you say ‘kono isu wa hikatteru (this chair is shining)’ and ‘kono kaminoke wa hikatteru (this hair is shining).’ It’s interesting how you give life to objects, aside from ‘otokonoko (boy)’ and ‘onnanoko (girl),’ as they’re well, not objects. How did this song come about?
It’s the first tracks I made next to the others. I spent a lot of time alone in my room during this time. I improvised by describing the room as I saw it. For the high pitched ‘it’s shining’ bit, I use it to punctuate the inanimate objects’ liveliness.
I know I said ‘Hikatteru’ is my favorite track but I must say ‘Koko Pachin’ is too. It’s hard to pick a favorite! I also really like your vocals on this one. I like how the word ‘chisakunatteru (it’s becoming small)’ sounds, as it ends in this upward curl. Musically speaking, I enjoy the duality of the song. The latter half of this song is unapologetically poppy and confident. It’s truly a dance tune. Lyrically speaking, I find myself repeating this part in my head: ‘koko kara te wo tsunaide (hold hands from this point onwards) watashi ni chikara wo ataete (give me strength) yume wo akiramenaide (don’t give up on your dreams).’ It’s like a mantra for me. It’s also really intriguing to see how the Japanese language could make a song sound bouncy due to how it sounds phonetically. Could you walk me through the lyrics for this? How did you write them?
Koko pachin is a love song. A relation between a girl and the pachinko game. Pachinko is a Japanese gambling/slot machine game. I mostly write love songs.
What is in store for Golin? Any projects we should keep an eye out for?
I’m working on my next release.
words LENA-GRACE SUDA
More to read