Shoop’s Top Ten Touhou Tracks 2015
Well, well, well. If you’re reading this, it means I actually decided to publish this madness! Welcome to my list of favorites from this past year (even though it’s nearly February). These are the songs that made me laugh, cry, and overall just re-evaluate my entire life in 2015. If this was a Touhou music overview of my entire life, however, it would mainly be ShibayanRecords and Yuuhei Satellite. Fair warning, most of the music is pretty old in the grand scheme of Touhou, but I digress.
2015 was pretty pivotal for me. I came out as bisexual to a few close friends, I got accepted to my first-choice college, did some pretty crazy shit, and hey, I’m still alive!
Apologies in advance for my weird metaphorical, overly-dramatic rambling, but I got really fired up while making this list.
Let’s get started.
10. スキマパラダイス / Gap Paradise
Album: Assortment of sense
The first time I listened to this song was while I was taking a walk in the midsummer haze of morning, my flip-flops clacking against the seawall. ShibayanRecords might be the only circle where I don’t even have to listen to a song before I put it on my iPod– I already know that I’ll love it. Even though this is supposed to be a spring song, it screams summer to me in tones of indigo「藍」, orange「橙」, and of course, violet「縁」.
9. UFO LOVER
Vocal: T. Stebbins
Arrange: T. Stebbins
Lyrics: T. Stebbins
Album: TOHO EUROBEAT VOL. 9 ~ UNDEFINED FANTASTIC OBJECT
Ah, Odyssey Eurobeat, you gem to the world. If you’re subscribed to me on YouTube, you probably already know how much I love T. Stebbins. This is my favorite A-ONE song of 2015 not just because it kickstarted my YouTube account, but because it truly is such a beautifully crafted piece of work. This song just encapsulates the creativity, both in melody and lyrics, that I love so much in Touhou music. Some of my other frequented A-ONE songs that didn’t make it onto the list were “Bloody Night”, “WHO”, and “little flare”, although ultimately, T. Stebbins always wins when it comes to T.E.B. I’m looking forward to what T. Stebbins offers us in the future, starting with “On The Moon”, which you should go check out if you haven’t already 😉
8. アモリタチテカミトミユ / Descending from the Skies, She Appears as a Goddess
Lyrics: Sayaka Yamazaki
Album: Where is Love
This song never fails to give me chills each and every time I listen to it. Also Shibayan x Syrufit????!!!!! SIGN ME UP!
Although アナタガモトメルモノ will always be my favorite Shibayan arrange, and (one) of my favorite songs of all time, I chose this song because I listened to it way more in 2015. I can only describe this song as an absolute masterpiece. It’s actually been on my iPod since it was first released, but I only began to appreciate it in 2014, and I have yet to stop appreciating it. The lyrics, the arrange, the pure essence of the song– everything is genius.
7. Tomorrow Will Be Special, Yesterday Was Not
Circle: Frontier Records
Please please please go listen to this. While this song wasn’t particularly influential to me in 2015 alone, I couldn’t just leave this list without any folk music. I have the strangest music taste, I swear. This spot was originally going to be for 御霊遷 by Floating Cloud, but I decided to put this one instead. As someone who has danced the Yosakoi Soran (look it up) many a time, this song makes me want to jump into the sea and dance my little heart out. I love this song so much.
6. パライソ / Paraiso
I think this song is pretty self-explanatory. I’m a sucker for folk-rock, metaphors, imagery (especially of eastern motifs), and basically any song that includes the word 儚く。Once or twice when I was walking home, I took a detour to walk alongside the river so I could watch the sunset while this song played. I suddenly want to go back to Kinkaku-ji and just sit there alone with this song and my thoughts.
5. 部屋でYシャツで首輪で猫（あなた)/In My Room, In a Button-Up Shirt, With a Collar, a Cat (You)
Album: 君違 -kimitagae- | 科学世紀のカフェテラス 2014
I had my whole emotional description of 竹ノ花 written out, but at the last second I decided to change it to –this– song. Yup.
There are so many parts in this song where I’m torn between running and just sitting still. I think I’ve actually dozed off to this song once or twice. Not to say that this is a peaceful song or anything, quite the opposite, but I find that it seems to hypnotize me. This song is a myriad of horror and just absolute amazingness all around. わたしの、てには。あなたの — la la la.
“What exactly did I see?”
4. ふたつのシネマ / Two Cinemas
Album: 少女煉獄 第三巻
Finally, a song that was actually released in 2015! It was hard to choose between my other favorite ButaOtome song of this year, うたかた, but eventually this one came out on top. Wonderfully inventive, phantasmagorically vibrant, I could listen to this song a thousand times and still find yet another part of the song to love. Also, Ranko never fails to flabbergast me. I see so much of myself in this song, constantly yearning for the dream scorched into my eyelids, lost between fiction and reality. At least, that’s how I interpret the song.
I think we all have a bit of Sumireko in us.
3. テーマ・オブ・カーテンファイアーシューターズ / Theme of Curtain Fire Shooters
When I die, I want this song to be played at my funeral. To be honest, It’s the spirit of this song that made me choose this song over all the other fantastic RD-Sounds works. (Also, I’m a sucker for that Touhou motif, so.) I think it encapsulates the . I can’t really put into words how this song makes me feel, but I would plot it as somewhere bordering fantasy and reality. The song itself has two sets of lyrics, one relating to Touhou terminology, and the other a more realistic take. The duality of this song, much like in Two Cinemas, presents us with a scene that I can only describe as pure Touhou. I know I will always have this fantasy in my heart.
So, do you have your eyes set on the “Extra Stage”?
2. レディメイド・シティライフ / Ready-Made City Life
Album: RETRO FUTURE GIRLS
I want to make love to this song. Metaphorically, of course. This was going to be my #1 for this list, but #1 just had that certain oomph that pushed it to the top.
Just like OP2C said in her description of her upload of this song, I can also relate to so much of this song. Not just in the fast-paced, lovey-dovey, wondrous life of a city girl such as myself, but in the retro-aesthetically painted scene of bossa nova, reed diffusers, french pop, mandarins, and earl grey tea lattes (all of which I enjoy greatly). I’ve always been a coward when it comes to emotions, but I’ll just have to wait and see what the future holds for me. This is the sort of song I put on when I’m walking fast through crowds on a busy Sunday evening, and I end up getting lost in the music.
1. モダンガアル街を往く。/ A Modern Girl Walks the Street
Arrange: 飴野ヲルカ (Mano, 平茸)
I didn’t like this song at first, but now I am absolutely infatuated with it. This song has seriously helped me through so much, and I am more often than not driven to tears when I listen to it. Utashima’s voice is nothing short of powerful, in every sense of the word.
I see myself in so much of this song. I see it in the fast paced, ever-changing, yet somehow sempiternal life that I live. When I listen to this song, I feel strong, even though I have to drag myself to do anything. When I lace up my boots in the morning, and when I walk home in the dusk, looking at the glowing lights of the city; These are the memories I know I will remember when I listen to this song. So “fuck being pretentious”, and just let me walk the streets and leave my days to the wind.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart if you have made it this far. Music means the world to me, and although this may end up just being a memento for future-Shoop to look back on, let me know what songs have changed/touched/inspired you this year. Who knows– Maybe if I ever make a list like this again, something you showed me will be on it.