Given their relative popularity at home, Japanese outfit never young beach barely scratch the surface of consciousness Stateside, and it’s a damn shame as the band’s last few albums have been a delight. A far cry from the slickened pop of their previous album, Story, the works on Arigato find the band looking back through their influences and reflecting inward. The four years between albums have been culturally momentous by and large for the world’s population, but isolation found the members spending time combing through their own interests with on a deeper level. Yuma Abe in particular has struck away from the expectations of the band’s legacy. He’s been found cropping up more and more in these parts as well, guesting just this year on the wonderful second album from Spencer Cullum Jr.
His solo album for Temporal Drift in 2021 explored an interest in ‘60s Japanese country and folk, and that influence has crept quite clearly into the bones of Arigato. The title and the artwork nod towards Chu Kosaka’s 1971 masterpiece of the same name. Abe has covered Kosaka in the past, choosing a song from Horo for his AQD Lagniappe Session a while back, hinting even further at the changes to come. never young beach push further into the angura, delving into ‘60s New Music and mixing it with their own pop acumen. There are moments that feel akin to something like Happy End, swapping country twang with a harder edge, in particular the vamping “Oh Yeah,” and opener “Kanashiikotobakari,” but the band don’t necessarily seem to be lifting their moves on Arigato wholesale. Instead they let the past flow through them, creating an album that’s divorced from their more indie leaning past, allowing their eclectic input to simmer into an album that feels built for longevity. If the band’s just now hitting your radar, then this might just be the perfect place to start.
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