Song of the Week: ‘Shimanchu’ by Floating Room

Sweet alt-rock disguises a biter pill on the lead single from Maya Stoner’s upcoming EP.

By Conner Reed October 1, 2021

It's a good week for shouty alt-rock. This morning, LA "tenderpunks" Illuminati Hotties released Let Me Do One More, their third album, whose pleasures are so vast it would do no one any favors to try and catalogue them in a single sentence. Closer to home, Floating Room—the project of Portlander Maya Stoner—announced the November arrival of her new EP Shima with the rollicking lead single "Shimanchu."

On first listen, it's easy enough to simply nod your head to the track's spacious drums before Stoner erupts into screams and jolts you out of your reverie in the final minute. Subsequent spins reveal the song's darkness, what the EP's Bandcamp description calls "a retort to the condescension [Stoner] faces daily as an Asian American woman." 

"I'm an islander / My land's been colonized," she speak-sings matter-of-factly after one of the track's several tempo shifts. "I'm an islander / I won't be patronized." The song's title nods to Stoner's heritage as an indigenous islander from modern-day Okinawa, Japan, and throughout, she expresses disdain for both colonial forces and complacency in the face of them. With four distinct movements, "Shimanchu" is almost a micro-symphony that sees Stoner traverse a startling amount of emotional terrain in three minutes.

Check out the track's Dance Dance Revolution-inspired music video below, and keep your ears/eyes peeled for Shima when it drops in full on November 12: 

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