Hey there fellow tourists, welcome back for another Souvenir of the Week. This week I’ve brought back a souvenir that comes all the way from Japan! I’m pretty excited about this souvenir so I’ll get right to it. This week’s souvenir is the indie-pop album L.S.T. by Japanese musician Shugo Tokumaru.
Shugo Tokumaru started to play music as a kid growing up in Tokyo and joined the Japanese rock band Gellers when he was a teenager. After impressing an American record label with a demo album called Fragment, Shugo Tokumaru created a new album called Night Piece which was released in the US in 2004 and other countries later. His second album, L.S.T., was released about a year or two later depending on what website you read, however his official website has it being released in 2005. Other than its release date I couldn’t really drum up any other information about this album that wasn’t in Japanese (which I unfortunately don’t understand), so I’ll just get to why I think this album is good.
Overall this album is a relaxing and surprisingly accessible listen, even for those who don’t understand Japanese. Although at times there seems to be a lot of weird sounds incorporated throughout some songs and a somewhat complex instrumentation for an indie-pop album, Shugo Tokumaru’s soft vocals, choice in instruments, and overall sound allow anyone to enjoy the album. A good example of how all of these aspects can work together is the track Mushina.
Also, most of these tracks are easy enough to listen that they could be played in the background in most settings without disturbing anyone, but at the same time the album contains enough complexity and energy to keep an active listener interested and awake. In fact, a lot of the tracks are able to have both qualities by walking the line between relaxing and slightly energetic. The only track that doesn’t really walk that line between the two sounds is the track Karte which is probably the most energetic song of the entire album and admittedly might be a little weird for some people, but can still be enjoyable if listened to in the right context.
My favorite tracks off of L.S.T. are Mushina, Karte, Vista, Metrion, and Amayadori. I know it might be difficult for some of you to fully enjoy this album since its in another language, so I’ll provide a link below to the English translation to the songs that could be translated. However, even without knowing what Shugo Tokumaru is singing about you can still hear the beauty in his vocals. I highly recommend listening to this album while sitting outside on a sunny and breezy day or even while stuck inside listening to the rain. Anyways, domo arigato for reading, happy listening, and I’ll see you all next week.
(Hey, click right -> here <- for those sweet lyric translations)
Photo credit: http://www.maniadb.com/album/600422
Original Punk Rock Tourist photo taken by Monique F.