Nostalgic, Yet Progressive
70’s beats, playful lyrics and whispers of krautrock weave their way through Fujiya & Miyagi’s EP1. The vocals come off as both sarcastic and sincere, but the beat and melodic structure are the focus of the EP (and rightly so). Fujiya & Miyagi has managed to create interesting, unique and masterful music from something that reminds one of the soundtrack to an eighties workout video. The “throwback” qualities of this album do not hinder it in any way, however. EP1 feels like a fun journey through all our beloved hair-crimping, gel-penning, windbreaker-wearing pasts. Well, the years that came before our teenage angst, anyway.
Nostalgia is not the only thing EP1 has going for it; the vocals are truly something else. The beat may be reminiscent of the end credits of a John Hughes film, but the lyricism and minimalistic approach to melody is quite modern. The first song, “Seratonin Rushes” serves as a slightly manic vehicle for us to be drawn into the Fujiya & Miyagi world. “To The Last Beat Of My Heart,” the second track, is probably the showpiece of the album. Between its world music vibe and sweet, hopeful lyrics, “To The Last Beat Of My Heart” is both comforting and makes one jealous of the vocalist’s love. He sounds so breathlessly, desperately in love that it makes our hearts break. One also gets the sense, from the discordant elements of the track that the all-consuming infatuation he feels might not be all hearts and smiles.
“Magnesium Flares,” the final track on the four-song EP (part 1 of a trilogy) is a bit different. The beat is more contemplative and the melody is a little more explorative, making for a fitting and satisfying outro to the EP. Unlike the three that came before it, this track does not have that disco-esque, house music vibe that saturates the others. The title is fitting too, as the song flares out before it has even begun, leaving us wanting the second installment as soon as possible. EP1 has done its job: it has begun to tell the story.