Kaede – Sepiairo no Kugatsu

セピア色の九月
Sepia September

Summer ends as though nothing had happened
Opening the window, watching the clear skies

It passed, never once looking back
Leaving only the swimsuit lines on my suntanned skin

My tears blur into sepia
Sweet, slightly languid September

Surely I’ll see the blue coastline again
Thinking that, I feel better

Autumn begins and as though nothing had happened
A trench coat envelops my dress

So now within this ambiguous season
I want to be alone, as if I was on a journey by myself

My tears are sepia-colored syrup
Sweet, slightly bitter memories

The blue coastline so far away, a summer forever gone
Thinking that, I feel lonely

I cried — In September
I cried — Sepia tears

Lamp – Tsumetai Yoru no Hikari

冷たい夜の光
Cold Night Light

A conversation-less passenger car headed nowhere
Memories of days past hang in the air like feathers
It’s just as always, this enveloping world
Stealing up on me without a word or sound

Suspended neon signs; a lie by the window
Holding my breath at the bottom of the universe

I have heard the sound of unending sorrow
The gentle embrace of this cold night light is all I need
Who would think of this town as it floats past unnoticed
Illuminated only by the cold night light?

Coffee stains remain on the letter
With words left unsaid, simply abandoned
Is it the same as always, the life you’re living?
A gentle kiss before drifting off to sleep

A winter illusion of a distant spring
Now-forgotten songs of days gone by

An unending silence fills the sky
My heart shaken by the cold night light
Quietly take with you these rusted feelings
Oh, cold night light, just like this…

Alone, humming an endless song of youth
Singing it to the cold night light for all eternity
Smells in the wind of this unknown land reminding me of times past

Lamp “Soyokaze Apartment 201” interviews & liner notes (2003)

The birth of a legendary Japanese band. This is where it all began: Lamp’s first release, 2003’s Soyokaze Apartment 201. I have translated below two interviews pertaining to the album, as well as Someya Taiyo’s liner notes for all of the tracks.

The first interview was originally published on WebVANDA.

Original interview & text: Uchi Takahide (original interview)
English translation: Henkka
Lamp online: website, label, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Instagram

You can buy Lamp’s music directly from the band, both physically and digitally, on Bandcamp.

This group of three men and women known as Lamp debuted in April 2003. Whenever I listen to their young, lively sound, I’m always brought back to the season of the blazing sun…

In this interview, we talked to the band about their origins and about the making of this album.

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Lamp “Koibito e” interviews & liner notes (2004)

Less than a year after their debut, Soyokaze Apartment 201, Lamp came out with Koibito e, their amazing second album. Below you will find two interviews pertaining to the release along with Someya Taiyo’s track-by-track liner notes for all of the songs on it. Enjoy!

Original text & interview: OOPS!
English translation: Henkka
Lamp online: website, label, blog, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, Instagram

You can buy Lamp’s music directly from the band, both physically and digitally, on Bandcamp.

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Updating the Concept of “Pure Ubiquitous Pop”

These three youngsters by the names of Someya Taiyo (guitar), Nagai Yusuke (vocals, bass, etc), and Sakakibara Kaori (vocals, accordion, flute) formed Lamp in 2000. They debuted in 2003 with their album Soyokaze Apartment 201 that demonstrated how well they understand city pop, bossa nova, and AOR — all of the “pleasant sounds.”

Not only is their sophomore effort way up there in terms of its degree of perfection, the group have also demonstrated here their will and resolve to “update” pop music as a whole. Above all, they are capable of analyzing themselves very objectively. At the risk of exaggeration, the author of this article feels that this band is an answer to the so-called “sampling era” of the 90’s.

This is the pop music of a new era.

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Minuano “Chou ni Naru Yume wo Mita” interviews (2019)

Minuano is the solo project of Ogata Takero, who you may know as a frequent collaborator of Lamp. On their Facebook page, they are musically described as Brazilian Popular Music, city pop, soft rock, and crossover. Minuano’s third album — their best one to date, if I may say so — was released in August 2019. Like the first two albums, it features Lamp’s Sakakibara Kaori on vocals.

Below, you will find two translations related to Chou ni Naru Yume wo Mita (English title: Butterfly Dream). First, here is an interview with Mr. Ogata originally posted on WebVANDA.

Original interview & text: Uchi Takahide (Japanese text)
English translation: Henkka
Minuano/Ogata Takero on the web: Facebook, Twitter, blog, YouTube, SoundCloud

You can buy Minuano’s music, both physically and digitally, on Bandcamp.

Nine years after their second album, 2010’s Aru Haru no Koibito, Minuano — solo unit of percussionist Ogata Takero — is releasing its third album, Chou ni Naru Yume wo Mita, on August 11th.

Their first album, Love Logic (2009), as well as Aru Haru no Koibito were both works incorporating the essence of 70s/80’s Brazilian music and jazz, and yet sublimating it into pop. But on this release, Ogata’s personality and imagination have reached new heights as the album goes on to achieve a kind of conceptual whole. Featuring vocalist Sakakibara Kaori of Lamp — who released their eighth album, Kanojo no Tokei, last year — ardent fans have surely been waiting impatiently for this album.

Their approach towards creating pop music that has echoes of Brazilian music and is yet simultaneously genre-less is something that bears similarities to GUIRO, whose latest release, A MEZZANINE, received a nationwide release last month. The incorporation of so many different musical elements ensures that the listener never gets bored of them. Now, nine years after their previous release, I present to you an interview with Mr. Ogata.

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