“Yume” in Japanese means “dream”. It’s an apt description for Kicell’s debut album.
Consisting of brothers Tsujimura Takefumi and Tsujimura Tomohara, Kicell has crafted one of the most dreamiest, atmospheric albums to grace a set of stereo speakers.
Yume positively floats from one track to another, propelled mostly by the brothers’ genteel guitar plucking.
The album starts with “Hanarebanare”, a track shimmering with strange synthesizer effects and glassy guitars. Takefumi’s eerie falsetto teases when he reaches the song chorus.
At first, Takefumi’s singing feels off-putting, too child-like. But set against the lush minimalism of Kicell’s picturesque music, no other voice seems suitable.
Yume almost feels like the album R.E.M. should have recorded with Up — sparse but complex, expansive but minimal, playful but introspective.
A simple drum beat propells “Yume no Ikura”, the closest thing this album has to a single. A solitary piano hook punctuates the phrases of “Horohoro”.
The Tsujimura brothers know the value of “less-is-more”, throwing in its arsenal of effects at strategic points in a song, weaving unlikely timbres together to form a nice rhythmic tapestry full of surprises.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the epic “Yakanhikoo (Rakka Double Version)”. The track moves along on a dub beat, but strange samples float in and out of the song, giving the song more depth than its restrained arrangement lets on.
On other tracks, the brothers are just plain haunting.
“Hi no Tori ~Hotani-en~” sports a dreamy, reverb-drenched vocal performance, while “Kyuujitsu no Mado” feels positively drugged out.
Put Yume on the stereo, and it’s a safe bet Kicell’s skillfull, minimalistic work will burrow itself into your subconscious.