Tomo Nakayama is a name worth remembering. (Worth pronouncing too, it’s actually exactly how it looks if you sound it out carefully, don’t worry, you can do it!) He used to be the leader of a bigger band, Grand Hallway, in Seattle. They played really beautiful orchestral chamber pop, and this (his first solo album) has a lot in common with the older stuff, maybe a little more orchestral and a little less pop, still beautiful and deep and evocative and sad. Perfect stuff for this season. Also, the other person most involved in this record besides Tomo is Yuuki Matthews, a guy who has played with Sufjan and Pedro the Lion and also his main gig is as a member of The Shins! ALSO, Tomo recently released this video about this crazy thing he did on his official album release date in November: he played FOURTEEN FREE SHOWS IN ONE DAY!! Yes. That IS amazing. I went to his Seattle show last week, his triumphal return show after a tour of Japan, and bumped into David Bazan and Damien Jurado. Seattle knows what is up with this dude, and so does CMJ! He’s spent two weeks on the Top 200 so far, this last week reaching its peak so far at #123! YEAH!! It’s all up from here on this guy.
FOG ON THE LENS
Tomo Nakayama is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter from Seattle, Washington. His music has been praised by NPR, The New York Times, and KEXP, and he has toured throughout the US and Japan and at fests such as SXSW, CMJ, Sasquatch, and Bumbershoot. Fog On The Lens is his first solo album, made after nearly a decade fronting beloved Seattle chamber-pop band Grand Hallway, and composing for and acting in Lynn Shelton‘s Sundance Grand Jury-nominated film “Touchy Feely“.
Fog On The Lens was written and recorded during a residency at Town Hall Seattle. Literally handed the keys to the historic building for three months, Tomo utilized the 92-year-old Roman-revival style hall as his own personal recording studio. Recording alone at odd hours of the night, Tomo used a single microphone plugged directly into his laptop to capture the natural acoustics of the various rooms of Town Hall. Emphasis was placed on first takes and keeping the performances as raw and unedited as possible. In essence and in spirit, Fog On The Lens is a bedroom album created in a cathedral-sized room.
To mix the record, Tomo enlisted the help of producer/multi-instrumentalist Yuuki Matthews (of The Shins and Teardrops). Yuuki displayed an immediate and intuitive understanding of Tomo’s vision, mixing onto analog 4-track cassette tape and overdubbing his own wildly imaginative array of analog synthesizers and homemade keyboard sounds which heighten the album’s evocative, dream-like atmosphere.
Fog On The Lens finds Tomo pursuing a rawer, more playfully spontaneous and intimate sound than the dense, fully orchestrated sound of Grand Hallway. It combines elements of the acoustic and electronic, analog and digital, lo-fi and hi-fi, the urban and the pastoral. The past and future collide in a colorful, hazy collage. It bears the influence of Tomo’s favorite musicians like Arthur Russell, Bjork, Paul Simon, Cass McCombs, The Velvet Underground, and Ryuichi Sakamoto, yet exists in a world entirely of its own. Fog On The Lens is a quietly confident step forward from a restless soul, unafraid to follow his muse, wherever it leads him.
Fog On The Lens sees a simultaneous release in the US on Porchlight Records and in Japan on & Records.
RIYL: Bon Iver, Paul Simon, Elliott Smith, Yo La Tengo, Kurt Vile, Damien Jurado, Jherek Bischoff
Start With: 2, 4, 6, 8 FCC CLEAN
Contact me for a download link if you’re a radio rep!