On April 15th, the UK’s self-proclaimed “number one space surf band,” Japanese Television, released their debut album, Space Fruit Vineyard. Japanese Television is hardly conventional. Ditching the classic front man design, Japanese Television is a purely instrumental band that I think we’ve all been waiting for.
With a full instrumental band, I feel like all lines are blurred. Now there’s an opportunity to create any sound you want, without the factors can we feasibly create this given the training and ability of the front man? Those questions are thrown out. Within this album, I feel like under the “alternative/ indie rock” title I’ve heard a bit of everything.
The group agreed their addition of a keyboard player would take their sound up a notch. Futuristic, low chords ring out in the background of “Sputnik Swimming” coming just briefly after the sultry, lounge style we hear from Japanese Television on “Ghoul Rules”.
As we venture on, there’s intriguing sound effects in the background of “Dopplegänger Disco” not often heard in traditional music. There’s a heavier synth effect in this song which makes it stand out to me. While I don’t enjoy it as much as some of the other tracks, the ingenuity and attention that it demands is something to be impressed by. Directly after this track, we’re met with the entrancing “Snake Shake”. This is what I imagine plays in every adventure movie where someone is bitten by a snake, and if you can’t imagine that then listen and tell me if I’m wrong.
Overall, this album, even without lyrics, tells a story in a way. I can imagine myself listening to these songs almost anywhere, which I don’t often think about. One aspect I applaud above the quality of this album is actually the lack of words. Whenever I’m studying, it’s so hard to listen to music I know because I get distracted by the lyrics. Most of the time I opt for lofi hiphop beats to study or classical music. I will definitely be throwing on Space Fruit Vineyard during dead week.
Photo Credits from: https://japanesetelevision.bandcamp.com/album/space-fruit-vineyard