LOS ANGELINO trio Tashaki Miyaki really do put the dream into dreampop, with a deliciously languorous, hazy cast to their music, which seems to call on the Mary Chain, Lush, Hole, Mazzy Star, soothe them into a shoegazey drowse; and they’ve a new album, Castaway, out now on July 2nd – slightly delayed – on Metropolis Records.
The new album sees the trio of drummer-singer Paige Stark, guitarist Luke Paquin and bassist and backing vocalist
Sandi Denton tackle the big personal themes – love, memory and time – in a waking stretch of melody.
They’ve just dropped a second single, “I Feel Fine”, the classily monochromed video for which you can watch below; we’re told it’s a homage to Paige’s favourite vampire films and it sees two glamorous bloodsuckers (and in best vampire tradition, aren’t they though? The epitome of style) flutter into consciousness, get stylishly noir togged up for a night on the town, find a victim to seduce.
And as the band explain, it was one of the last tracks to come into being for the new album. As the pandemic tore through our way of life and with recording almost completed, the trio felt they were just one track of what they needed.
“I wrote ‘I Feel Fine’ at the beginning of Covid-19 unfolding and it felt like it belonged to the record. I said lot of the things my friends were saying to me about their lives, so it felt right to add it”, Paige explains.
“I was inspired by the emotion of The Replacements’ song ‘Unsatisfied’ and wanted to write my own ode to dissatisfaction.
“I always say I’m fine when it’s quite the contrary, so I started there and got more and more specific with each verse.”
The trio got together at LA music legend Joel Jerome’s studio in the midst of a heatwave and captured the track on a sweltering August afternoon. “We knew this was the finishing touch,” says guitarist Luke.
The video for “I feel Fine” was shot in East Los Angeles and was directed by Paige. It’s an homage to her favorite vampire films, such as A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Only Lovers Left Alive and Fifties’ glamour.
“I am imagining the vampires died in the 1950s, so they’re still wearing the clothes of their time,” she says of a video in which the band make their screen debut. “We are all movie lovers so this was a fun way for us to all be in the video. And who doesn’t love a good vampire moment?”
In a recent interview for NYLON, Paige revealed more about the concepts at play on the new record. “’Castaway’ is about the challenges of romantic love and how we are all bad at it in one way or another,” she said.
No matter how hard we try, at some point we are going to fail and hurt ourselves or our partners.
“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”.
Castaway features guest appearances from The Heartbreaker’s Benmont Tench, multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion (who scored Magnolia, I Heart Huckabees and more) and sees the band push sonically on from 2017’s album, The Dream.
Paige says: “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 here? What if everything isn’t as fuzzy and smeary? What sounds have we not tried? What if we let stuff be a little naked?”
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.