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Damon & Naomi - A Sky Record Music Album Reviews

Damon & Naomi - A Sky Record Music Album Reviews
The duo’s latest album is a calming and tender reflection on appreciating what you have in uncertain times. 

Damon & Naomi’s A Sky Record could have just as easily been titled A Quarantine Album. Although the duo started recording the album in 2019 in Tokyo with longtime collaborator Michio Kurihara, they finished during the pandemic, and the lyrics bare the unmistakable stamp of those early months of lockdown: the shock of isolation, the days that bled into each other without distinction, the concerned check-ins from friends and family. “Oceans in Between” opens with a vow to those long-distance loved ones. “Every day I think of you,” Naomi Yang sings tenderly. “I send all my strength to you.”

In an essay included in a 48-page book that accompanies the album, Yang writes that her lasting feeling from quarantine was an overwhelming sense of gratitude, particularly for the support of friends and the comfort of daily rituals. And so, despite its many references to uncertain times and passing storms, A Sky Record is chiefly an album about appreciating what you have. “Shape things that you can change/Nothing need stay the same/Cherish the simple joys,” Yang sings on “The Gift.”

Nearly as much as the absence of Dean Wareham, this wide-eyed, sometimes almost new age-y outlook has separated Damon & Naomi’s records from the ones they used to make as two-thirds of Galaxie 500. Despite the group’s brief existence, Galaxie 500’s legacy has endured not only because they were a great band, but also because they were a cool band: Their dream-pop presented itself with the ragged edges of post-punk and the detached chic of The Velvet Underground.

The very trappings that gave Galaxie 500 their mystique, however, were among the first to go on Damon & Naomi’s own records, which have never humored superficial notions of coolness. Theirs is a much softer form of psychedelia, with an earnestness suggestive of dream catchers, coffeehouse open mics, and Peter, Paul and Mary albums. Their music is so open and unguarded that it can almost be uncomfortable if you don’t meet it at its level. In the wrong frame of mind, A Sky Record can play like showing up for a dinner party where you were expecting more guests.

Yet once you avail yourself to its intimacy, A Sky Record is a beautiful album, one of the duo’s most beguiling works. Though it was conceived as an homage to the relaxed krautrock LPs released by the defunct 1970s label Sky Records (hence the title), it stands among Damon & Naomi’s most direct and song-forward releases, which makes it a good entry point for newcomers daunted by their three decades of music together. Better still, A Sky Record is especially generous with Kurihara’s majestic guitar, which is as much of a draw as Damon & Naomi’s calming melodies. On “Between the Wars” and “Season Without Time,” his bleary electric guitar cuts through the canvas like strokes of acrylic on what was previously a watercolor painting.

After so many songs that vividly evoke the year 2020, A Sky Record ends in the present moment on “The Aftertime.” “Has the storm truly passed?,” Yang sings. “Is it morning at last?” This is how Damon & Naomi write now. The sentiments are never cryptic or coded; the duo simply express what’s top of mind. That face-value approach to lyrics is well-suited for a subject as universal as a global pandemic. There’s comfort in hearing somebody sing what we’re all thinking, and comfort has always been what Damon & Naomi do best.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Damon & Naomi - A Sky Record Music Album Reviews Damon & Naomi - A Sky Record Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Friday, August 20, 2021 Rating: 5

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