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Tatsuro Yamashita

For You (Air Records)

When you have three unique styles and tastes, it’s always tricky to pick “just one” favorite of anything (e.g., sushi rolls, lovers, movies).  Initially, we had a no-holds-barred flurry of albums flooding our group text: Keenan being from Atlanta wanted Outkast’s Aquemini, Tom’s childhood memories conjured Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds, and Tiger’s eternal quest for smooth grooves led him to Sade’s Diamond Life. But one album that never fails to stoke our fire?  Well, dear LA Weekly readers, look no further than For You by Japanese living legend Taturo Yamashita.  The glossy production, perfect use of EQ & reverb, and energetic performances from a well ensembled crew (read the credits on discogs) puts this record in a league of its own.  These songs were inspired during 1980’s Japan, where the economy was booming, dance floors were crowded, and people were more optimistic than ever before.  It’s this energy and optimism that has been so important to us in the last few months, taking us out of the current climate and into a headspace that is conducive to creativity.

(Air Records)

Tiger forgets exactly how he got turned onto Tatsuro, but since none of his albums are available to stream, he downloaded them all and kept them on a Mediafire link he would share with people. He imported a copy on vinyl and started busting out “Love Talkin’ (Honey It’s You!)” as his secret weapon for DJing weddings. Sure, he’d get a couple weird stares but most of the crowd was cuttin a rough while trying to sneak a Shazam.  Since sharing it with the rest of the band, we’ve been trying to fit it into our quarantine Karaoke sets, but alas the karaoke versions are hard to find. In the meantime, it’s at the top of the list for our upcoming cover EP, Sandy In Your Sheets: Under The Covers.  Lastly, it’s hard to ignore the colorful and nostalgic (yet timeless) album art.  We love those colors and 80’s vibe and that has inspired some of our clothing and looks in our music videos.  Shoutout to the artist, Eizin Suzuki. Eizin, if you are listening, hit us up for our next track art. We’ll save some sake for you.

Sandy Hawkins’ “Cherry Chapstick” is out now.

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