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Sounds strange, weird, but unmistakably romantic Vol. 1

by springtide

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Four years ago, Hart Ichinose wrote a song that sounded totally different from anything he’d heard before. It was the first breath of what would become the aptly- named Sounds Weird, Strange, But Unmistakably Romantic.

An “avalanche of ecstatic sonic exploration... at an outpost overlooking the fringes of progressive rock and jazz fusion” (Odd Nugget), springtide’s newest EP is a collection of eastern-pop soundscapes that speak volumes with few words.

The Tokyo-based, one-man act has always been notable for its study in balanced contrasts. But Sounds Weird, Strange, But Unmistakably Romantic has reached a new level of genre-bending - and it works.

The EP opens with the frenetic, guitar-driven energy of “Distant Thunder, Sunday Morning (Again)”, a reprise of a 2015 track that takes on new life with the thunder of tom fills building to anthemic vocal melodies. The track has already birthed interpretative art in the form of an unspoken narrative video by director Francis Frenken.

“Paper Lanterns in the Dark” is a riff-heavy, danceable piece that starts off imitating a alt-pop song before progressively layering up with guitars and ultimately tapping out in a frenzy of atmospheric swells and chugging drums.

“We Are Heading to the East” has perhaps the most sing-along-inducing vocal take on the EP, with understated “oh’s” accompanying a yearning guitar melody that’s carried along by subtle percussion.

“Sora No Iro No Kuruma” opens with sequenced synth sounds and guitar notes under something similar to an early-R&B drum machine. Things get even more rhythmically interesting with what feels like a Latin music vibe that develops as the song progresses.

The final track “Outsider’s Paradox” starts with simple downbeat rimshots and a twanged Eastern guitar lick before acquiring subtle sweeps and layers of percussion that set the stage for a subtle fade-out.

It’s a fitting end to an EP packed with contrasts - but there’s more to come, with follow-up EPs scheduled for release in 2019.


released November 15, 2018




springtide 東京都, Japan

When I started, I believed I needed a singer, drummer and bassist because I thought my specialty were writing song and playing guitar.
So I was waiting for my BAND, looking for the opportunity for long periods of time.
But suddenly I realized I didn't need to wait for anybody. I could sing my song. It might not be good as I expected, but it would get better. SPRINGTIDE started.
... more

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