Italian Japanese - The Lush, Romantic Weirdness
Italian Japanese went off on tour last September with friends Say Anything, Cobras Starship, Armor for Sleep, Delta Spirit, The Soft Pack, Crocodiles and Weatherbox in support of the release of "The Lush, Romantic Weirdness", and knowing that it's hard to see why they haven't been getting more press. Their music is dance-y yet soulful, sound-oriented yet stirring.
It's a slow-burning mix, you listen, you begin to nod your head. And before you know it, you've been swept in. Italian Japanese, according to their MySpace page, has five members and to begin with it's difficult to see what they all do. Many of the tracks start out very minimalisticly - "Jeremiah" and "Le Pony" are good examples. But they all build into soaring vocals atop drifting, swirling layers of what plays like colour, not music, and I don't know how they've done it. Some of the production is so textured and wonderful it's almost terrifying.
Moving down the list we have the twinkling, melodic "Paper Tigers" - so many melody driven alternative bands would have been proud to have written this. Then we move on with the gorgeous title track and the tapping, tracing "The Knife". The final song, "Ladybird", feels less like the end and more like the promise of a return, like a soldier off to war.
These guys should be storming up through the music world because they are immensely talented and they have written a stunning debut album. But I'm almost glad they're not. It's sort of private music, one of the few bands that can record an album and it sounds like they're playing it just for you.
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