Exitpost’s album, Two Dreamers, sounds like exactly that—a dream, or perhaps two. Light and ethereal, Two Dreamers is an easygoing synth symphony. From the outset, the Japanese influences are present and in many ways. Those influences are what makes this a stand-out album, and it contributes heavily to the uniqueness of the sounds. Exitpost was born in Tokyo, and grew up in New York, and it’s easily to see the influence of both cities throughout the LP. As far as J-pop goes, Two Dreamers is an accessible and a thoughtful listen.
“Everyday Day is About You,” the opening track, roots us firmly in Japan with the speech audible at the start of the song. With a sing-song beat, “Every Day is About You” is bookended with English lyrics so it is already clear that this the creative work of two worlds. “New Moon Phase” has more energy and beautiful vocals, but it’s “Kameari Mode” that stands out most amongst the early tracks. Between the clever use of chimes and the airy synth, “Kameari Mode” feels unflinchingly like a dreamworld I want to visit. “Close to Me,” which is the first to feature Unmo, is similarly ethereal. These tracks are perfect for relaxing or studying.
“Anata” has a little more girth to it with the very present string instruments, but they way they are incorporated feels modern rather than dated. “You Caught the Butterflies in My Stomach” features a tempo that reminds me of a soft romantic waltz. Meanwhile, the titular number “Two Dreamers” is perhaps the fullest realization of the incorporation of these two distinct yet complimentary cultures. Unmo’s soft Japanese lyrics transpose over the rhythmic synths to create something thoughtful and honest. “Enoshima” is perhaps the track where the use of synth is most obvious to the ear. It is a fine track on its own, but because of this, it does stand out from the others on the LP. Finally, “Dream of Home” rounds out the LP with a stunning cacophony of sound that is calm, smoothing, and dare I say it, homey.
Two Dreamers is a strong LP that is remarkably cohesive in its tone and the questions it explores. The LP features several effective collaborations from Hanae and Unmo, as well as other Asian-American artists. But it is Exitpost’s creativity as a director of the overall feel for the collection that makes it successful. Extraordinarily atmospheric, Two Dreamers is a unique and personal LP that is sure to calm and enrich your listening experience.
Two Dreamers is out now. Follow Exitpost on Spotify.