With its dazzling colors and magnificent arrangements, listening to Japanese singer-songwriter Shugo Tokumaruâ€™s forthcoming release â€œExitâ€ is like being one of the tiny shards inside a kaleidoscope. And just like a kaleidoscope, the individual pieces weave into a grand spectacle. â€œExitâ€ changes with every turn of Shugoâ€™s hand. Its universally compelling blend of pop, folk and new music draws inspiration from such diverse artists as Brian Wilson and Sun Ra. â€œExitâ€ will be released September 2nd on Almost Gold Recordings.
Tokyo-based Shugo Tokumaru discovered his musical ingenuity at an early age, expressing his unique conceptions on albums â€œNight Pieceâ€ and â€œL.S.T.â€ These albums were widely embraced in Japan and lead to a small, but fervent, fan base outside of his homeland. His admirers included Animal Collective, Jens Lekman, M.Ward (with whom he has shared stages since) as well as members of Grizzly Bear, Holy Fuck, and The National. When it came time to record â€œExit,â€ Shugo enlisted the help of his Mac, a few microphones and little else to avoid the restraint felt when recording in a traditional studio. Using over 50 different instruments, most of which Shugo plays himself, the album is a sonic expedition.
Single â€œParachuteâ€ glistens with bright, beautiful melody, sprinkled with xylophone twinkles atop a nimble guitar. Shugoâ€™s fluid tenor, singing only in Japanese, serves too as an instrument as it plays into the atmosphere of each song. Whimsical â€œGreen Rainâ€ is an instrumental playground where the traditional and eccentric twirl and on breezy â€œButton,â€ Shugo accentuates quirky beats with a local kindergarten class on chorus. The finale, â€œWedding,â€ showcases Shugoâ€™s gift for musical storytelling through its vibrant, celebratory middle and bookends of tender reflection.
â€œExitâ€ tracklisting as follows:
2. Green Rain
4. Future Umbrella
9. La La Radio