Having released records with Kevin Shields’ Pickpocket label and now with ATP, it’s clear that former psych-punk Koichi Yamanoha is impressing all the right people. On the 29th of July releases his debut solo record Hazy Eyes Maybe, an otherworldly LP that waltzes its way through psychedelic narratives and unexpectedly catchy melodies
“The broken glass is falling over me” croons a seemingly careless Yamanoha beneath a gentle synth pattern and a reverb-doused acoustic guitar on the wonderful fifth track Teleportation, and it’s the contrast between the morbid lyricism and gentle, almost lullaby-esque instrumentation that creates the overwhelming sense of surrealism which ties the sonically heterogeneous LP together. In fact, from the moment the sparse percussion of opener Kazega Fuitara Sayonara gives way to the lethargic guitar drones, a real sense of subtle psychedelia is being established. Generally the London-based songwriter writes loosely in a sorta cosmic, spacey folk structure throughout the album, which means that his haunting narratives are never too far gone in mix. The watery production creates the perfect soundscape for the former Screaming Tea Party man to narrate his dreamlike tales.
Amongst the psych-folk bliss that Hazy Eyes Maybe consists mostly of, are some moment of real urgency; The stuttering, droney psych track Knowing is about as confrontational as the record gets, with its sparse cymbal crashes and bursts of distortion, whilst Walk Into The Cold Water With You lends itself to the more daring side of 90’s Alt rock, it’s not a million miles away from sounding like a Sparklehorse track, the electronics of Robert Downey Syndrome make clear that Yamanoha is as wonderful as an electronic composer as he is an aberrant songwriter.
Hazy Eyes Maybe is a surrealism masterpiece, as Grimm Grimm turn the simplistic into the completely deranged in the most beautiful of ways. As well as that, It’s pretty much the most ATP sounding LP you’re going to be able to find.
(WRITTEN BY MARTY HILL)