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Sharpless is a band headed by Jack Greenleaf, based out of both Chicago and Brooklyn. Despite being situated in America, Sharpless takes a lot of cues from Japanese music, even going as far as to say that their latest song, “The Hardest Question,” would be fitting as an anime theme song.
This notion is not too far off for Sharpless, as “The Hardest Question” poses a sense of melancholia that is often associated with anime, and is simultaneously quite literal in it’s message. Completely exposed Sharpless may be, it is that shameless sense of self that makes Sharpless instantly relatable as a band, no matter if you know their influences or not.
However, as far as influences do go, Sharpless notes groups such as Shinsei Kamattechan to inspire their sound, and to round that out with Western influences, groups such as Arcade Fire and Weezer as well. The result is something that is emotionally charged, yet refined by pop craftsmanship. It’s an interesting listen and it’s exciting to see American groups take their influences by Japanese music seriously, rather than wearing it on their sleeve as an aesthetic that can easily be substituted as a result of irony or is just completely lacking of substance. It’s “cool” to acknowledge the aesthetics of Japanese Pop Culture, and as a result, few do it with a sense of legitimacy.
While the sound of Sharpless seems to align itself with Japanese Rock, it is the feel of the music that really displays what Sharpless is about. They understand that pure emotion and honesty is the forefront of how to create great music, and that transcends all else.