Damon & Naomi with Kurihara – A Sky Record

Damon and Naomi have once again teamed up with Michio Kurihara to put the dream in dream pop.

Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang, both long-time veterans of the dream pop genre since their Galaxie 500 days, are experts at crafting wistful soundscapes with addictively serene melodies. Kurihara, of whom you might also remember from Ghost and White Heaven, plays astral guitar that emotes an entire sea of sentiment with every note. These artists’ own unique styles compliment each other perfectly, as if they were always destined to sonically join forces.

The music here edges into ambient zones far more than the album Damon and Naomi recorded with Kurihara’s band, Ghost, back in 2000. The songs are more meditatively paced, with waves of cosmic keyboards, slow oceanic cymbal crashes and velvety guitar tones that all ripple endlessly under Krukowski and Yang’s elegant vocals.

The style of Damon and Naomi’s music has never felt so relevant as it does right now, with the sounds of the recent ambient country mini-boom obviously owing a major debt to their previous records. The track, “Seasons Without Time,” hammers this point home with its shimmering tremolo slide guitar and somber acoustic picking, which together gives the piece a psychedelic-western soundtrack vibe. It’s like you’re witnessing the masters showing the apprentices how it’s done.

The biggest take away from this record is all of the specific moods the music conjures up. Through just the instrumentation and production alone, the songs suggest things like empty streets at twilight, or dew droplets clustering over a bed of moss on a foggy morning. Every tune is so rich with a haunting melancholia, it’s easy for any listener to attach their own wistful memories to them. That’s the magic of Damon and Naomi’s music, which is stronger now more than ever in these trying times.

Fans new and old of Damon and Naomi and Kurihara cannot miss this record. You can order it today right here.


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Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and Thewaster.com and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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