Indie Rock Hit Parade Live Session: Sen Morimoto - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

Joining us in the studio for this Indie Rock Hit Parade live session is an artist who’s a cornerstone of the Chicago indie/experimental scene. Sen Morimoto first appeared on the show in late 2020, offering a home-recorded set of songs from his self-titled album. That album was released through Sooper Records, an artist-run label cofounded by Morimoto himself alongside fellow Chicago mainstays NNAMDÏ and Glenn Curran. In 2023, Morimoto released Diagnosis, his boldest album yet. Fusing towering guitar rock with free jazz and rapid-fire rapping, the album is a melting pot of genre that Morimoto and his band navigate nimbly. While on a December tour, Morimoto and his band stopped by our studio to showcase their new songs.

Each of the songs in this session shows off a different one of this group’s strengths: opening selection “Deeper” is a plush R&B ballad bookended by airy saxophone. While “Feel Change” initially continues that easygoing vibe, its shifting tempos gradually mutate into the breakneck “What You Say.” Those who turn their speakers up to hear the hushed intro to “Pressure on the Pulse” are in for a surprise when the song erupts into thrumming electro with Morimoto showing off his freestyling skills. Finally, there’s the album’s title track; as the band have played “Diagnosis” in concert, the song’s arrangement has evolved into a tongue-in-cheek homage to anthemic ‘90s grunge pop, But don’t settle in just yet, the song coalesces into a thrilling hydra of sax-guitar-synth interplay with the entire band bringing the session to a roaring conclusion.

Watch and stream Sen Morimoto’s Indie Rock Hit Parade Session below. You can also check out band member KAINA’s own appearance on World Café, part of the show’s Sense of Place: Chicago series.

Sen Morimoto: Full Set (Recorded Live for the Indie Rock Hit Parade)

Sen Morimoto with Eric Schuman | photo by Paige Walter for WXPN

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