See: Tashaki Miyaki – ‘Castaway’: yearning, leftfield LA guitar pop

Tashaki Miyaki, photographed by Marc Gabor

THE LA dreampop trio Tashaki Miyaki have dropped a a single and accompanying video of the title song from their forthcoming second album, Castaway, which will be released on July 2nd; and you can watch that below.

Singer, drummer and producer Paige Stark says the song “… is about the challenges of romantic love and how we are all bad at it in one way or another.

“The idea of a castaway in all this is that no one understands the relationship except the people in it, so you really are stuck on an island alone together there. Maybe you make it back to the mainland, or maybe you stay on the island.”

It’s a blissful and yearning nugget of leftfield guitar pop, the guitars lapping Paige’s vocal shore like the waves in the video; it puts me in mind of a mellower Best Coast before they got all synthy. It would make an excellent sunset tune, for sure.

Paige also shot the video, which was inspired by Sofia Coppola, saying: “I wanted to tap into all the feelings that can come up in relationships: anger, sadness, loneliness, vulnerability, stillness, joy, romance, longing.

“The actress in it has a beautifully expressive face and I’ve known her for a long time. I knew we would be able to create those moments together.

“I wanted it to feel like the camera was her lover, capturing her in various private moments, moods and feelings.”

Though Tashaki Miyaki self-identify as California kids”, their influences reach beyond the West Coast attitude and into Sun Records, doo-wop, “the Sixties & Seventies things everyone loves”, their hero “Uncle Neil”, punk, “everything in the Nineties” and past and current hip-hop.

The album for which “Castaway” is the title track follows up 2017’s The Dream and sees them move away from that earlier, wah-wah pedal imbued sound.

“We decided no wah pedal for most of the record,” says Paige. “We tried to incorporate new soundscapes.

“Like, what if there isn’t as much reverb on everything? What would be the less obvious sonic choice? What if everything isn’t as fuzzy and smeary? What sounds have we not tried? What if we let stuff be a little naked? What does that sound like?”

And she’s also reached for a more personal lyrical angle: “The album title comes from this thing a friend would say, calling himself a ‘castaway from decent society’.

“I also feel like a castaway a lot of the time. When I wrote the title track, I was thinking about love and how it changes over time if you stay in something long enough. It gets hard. And sometimes you feel stuck.

“It’s a pretty melancholy record, I guess. I always try to be direct, but I didn’t have as much life lived on the first record. I saw things very black and white, and perhaps simpler. Now I see a lot more grey and a lot more complexity.”

Tashaki Miyaki’s Castaway will be released by Metropolis Records digitally and on limited edition pale blue vinyl on July 2nd; pre-orders are now being taken at Bandcamp.

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