On The Rise: Mei Semones

Rough Trade Records

March 9th, 2024


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Blending everything that I like together and trying to make something new –that’s what feels most natural to me. It’s what feels most true to who I am as an artist.

Mei Semones’ sweetly evocative blend of jazz, bossa nova and math-y indie rock is not only a way for her to find solace in her favorite genres, but is an intuitive means of catharsis. Plinking guitar tones and asymmetrical time signatures exemplify her forays into angular indie rock more now than ever before, especially on her debut Bayonet Records single “Wakare no Kotoba”—its wide-interval arpeggios in odd meters being some of the most technically difficult guitar work Mei has ever implemented in her songwriting. Translated to “parting words” in English, the self-described “anti-love song” serves as a farewell to a toxic friendship, complete with orchestral swells and crashing guitars. 

We’re excited to announce Mei Semones as part of Rough Trade On The Rise, our dedicated curation putting a spotlight on the emerging music we are the most excited for you to hear, to follow and become a fan of. Read on to discover more about the artist in her own words and check out her debut EP Kabutomushi out April 5th on Bayonet Records.


Mei Semones on Mei Semones

a self-penned bio.


Five by Five

5 Qs, 5 As 

Describe Mei Semones in 5 words

soft, sweet, sophisticated, vulnerable, straightforward

5 records you listened to prior to making your album?

Coltrane Plays the Blues

Getz / Gilberto ’76

Nevermind by Nirvana

Johnny by John Roseboro

Charlie Parker With Strings

Top 5 career moments?

Meeting & playing with the musicians in my band.

Our first tour, coheadlining w/ Raavi.

Collaborating with one of my favorite artists, John Roseboro.

Selling out my first show in Japan at Blue Note Place (Tokyo). 

Signing to Bayonet Records.

You host a pre-release listening part for the album. Who are your 5 VIP guests (dead or alive)?

My mom, my dad, my sister, my boyfriend, my grandma.

Top 5 essential tour snacks?

strawberry sour punch bites

red or glacier cherry gatorade

matcha latte

Dunkin

Haribo sour streamers.

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