Lamp “Tokyo Utopia Tsuushin” column (2011)

Back in February 2011, Taiyo Someya wrote a four-part column for HMV ONLINE to commemorate the release of Tokyo Utopia Tsuushin. In it, he details the early history of Lamp and their journey towards the release of what was at the time their latest album.

Original text: Taiyo Someya (parts one, two, three & four)
English translation: Henkka
Lamp on the web: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Botanical House

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

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tokyoutopiatsuushinWith Lamp’s previous album, Lamp Gensou, they quite literally to its name gave us an album full of fleeting, illusional beauty; a sound world drawing a line between music you’d normally expect to hear in this day and age; an innovative masterpiece in modern pop music. Hachigatsu no Shijou, a limited edition EP released in mid-2010, had summer as its theme, and on it they once again portrayed the fleetingness of the seasons in its lyrics, along with sound imagery that made for a perfect companion to the words. It showed us the world of Lamp richer than ever before, opening new possibilities for them as a band.

Now, Lamp are releasing their long-awaited new album, Tokyo Utopia Tsuushin, recorded alongside the Hachigatsu no Shijou EP with about a year and half of work behind it. It’s something that needs to be called the “rebirth” of Lamp; a condensation of tighter rhythm arrangements and even more of the characteristics that make up the “Lamp sound.” It features their usual brand of beautiful lyrics that capture places in time: the cold and the warmth of winter; nostalgic sensations we’ve all once experienced; a man and a woman in an imaginary place, in an imaginary town. Those lyrics are placed on top of a new sound, making for an 8-song masterpiece of the highest order. The sounds on it show an exceedingly distinctive brilliance among the current music scene; a kind of originality that — even looking back — is something only Lamp could’ve produced. It’s something on a whole new level altogether. —HMV

No matter how you slice it,
they’re a band just brimming with the
freshness of someone who does their own thing.
And that’s regardless of the maturity that’s
instantly audible in their musicianship.
There aren’t many people like that out there.
That’s what makes them so great.

Tomita Lab (Keiichi Tomita)

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Lamp “Yume” interview (2014)

Here’s an awesome, in-depth interview with Lamp mainly concerning their 2014 album Yume, including track-by-track commentary by the members. Must-read for all fans of the band.

This interview was published at HMV ONLINE.

Original interview & text: Toshiya Sekine (parts one & two)
English translation: Henkka
Lamp on the web: website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, Botanical House

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

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Lamp was formed in 2000 by Taiyo Someya, Yusuke Nagai and Kaori Sakakibara. Three years since their monumental, pop music masterpiece, Tokyo Utopia Tsuushin, this winter on February 5, 2014, Lamp are releasing their seventh original album, Yume.

Beautiful melodies that sway to and fro like the waves of the sea, unconventional chord progressions, increasingly uninhibited time signature changes and complex arrangements, lyrics showing the beauty of the Japanese language, and harmony vocals that somehow manage to sound both earthly and heavenly at the same time.

A rare breed of pop music creators, Lamp have garnered much praise with each successive album. However, their newest release shows even further evolution, and it is a masterpiece that could even be considered historical. Especially the album opener “Symphony” and the closer “Sachiko” are both miraculously beautiful and chock-full of emotion, and with them it could be argued that they’ve shown us how pop music, at its best, can truly be considered a form of art.

A wonderful mix of styles, drawing from genres like city pop, AOR, Brazilian music, new soul, psychedelic, SSW and harmony pop, and lyrics that paint pictures of the days of youth to which one may never return.

It’s a work that goes far beyond the times or their genre of music. Indeed, with this release, the band has managed to create a landmark album of perfection.

In this long interview, the band talks mainly about their new album Yume, but also the past and the future of Lamp as they chronicle their personal histories in regards to their stances and feelings towards music. I hope that this interview will offer you a glimpse not only into their wonderful music, but also to the inner mysteries of the band itself.

(Interview & text: Toshiya Sekine)

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