And bonus points for difficult kanji

On a whim, I picked up an album by a band called Lamp today: Komorebi-doori ni te (『木洩陽通りにて』, On Light-Spilling-Through-The-Trees Street). Lamp is apparently a cloud of 70s-pop playing instrumentalists revolving around the nucleus of NAGAI Yuusuke (永井祐介, vocals/everything), SAKAKIBARA Kaori (榊原香保里, vocals/flute) and SOMEYA Taiyou (染谷太陽, guitars/songwriting).

Most of the songs comprise waves of strings-and-brass-and-soaring-vocals romance sweeping over a beach of unthreatening funk. Everything's driven (like disco) and dense -- most of the tracks include between two and four keyboards, and the absolute smallest number of instruments on any one song is nine.

What originally got my attention and inspired my purchase, though, was the duel vocals. Nagai and Sakakibara alternate lead vocals fairly evenly, but whichever one isn't in the lead is never far away with an "ahh-ahh-ahhhh" or even an answering line in the background ("I stop and search for your words, so I won't forget" / "I can't see, I can't see into your heart" -- well, it works better when sung.)

In summary, I like this album. I also want to give a shout out to their marimba player, whose name is OOHASHI "Erimba" Eri ("大橋エリ(erimba)"). Now that's dedication to your instrument.

(If you read Japanese, you might also be interested in this mildly informative interview with Lamp about the album and their evolution towards it [it's their third].)

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