Music Reviews

Nagisa Ni te

On the Love Beach


Japanese husband-and-wife duo Nagisa Ni te may effectively be a solo project, starring Shinji Shibayama with guests. But when his better half Masako Takeda is credited with only “wind,” that actually seems to indicate the strength of their relationship and to what degree they both truly matter with regards to the finished album. This is a profound and beautiful album that celebrates that strong love between two people, and it’s a celebration expressed through widescope folk music and recurring tales of finding hope and faith in the details of the everyday.

On the Love Beach is the band’s 1995 debut album, but it hasn’t been readily available outside of Japan until now. Since this recording, Nagisa Ni te have moved further into multi-layered slo-core terrain, as evidenced on their 2001 release Feel, one that earns comparisons to both Low and Sigur Ros. But on here they sound more like a folksy Elephant 6 band, like a contemporary Brian Wilson, or like a Karate able to restrain themselves. That said, they really doesn’t sound like anyone else. It’s psych-folk with a purpose, warmhearted, profoundly original and incessantly invigorating music that moves in every direction without ever loosing track of its identity and true path.

Nagisa Ni te is one of those bands that you really need to hear for yourself, one of the bands that could open new doors and possibilities for you. It’s one of those rare albums that not only feel truly important, but one of the few I will actually keep spinning in my CD-player long after I’ve finished reviewing it. On the Love Beach demands repeated listening and promises to grow with time and effort. Nagisa Ni te move above and beyond every expectation about what psych-folk is and should be. Close to magic, and then some.

Jagjaguwar Records:

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