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Little Songs About Raindrops

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Album Review

The meandering, atmospheric compositions that make up Little Songs About Raindrops (they're little in scale and scope, not necessarily in length or complexity) branch out from Lullatone's predominantly electronic debut, Computer Recital, to include an impressive collection of toys: a tiny toy metalophone, a toy piano, a toy cassette tape recorder, and a programmable music box, whose glockenspiel-like tones dominate the album nearly as much as computer-generated sine waves did Recital. There's also some accordion, ukulele, viola, and delicately plucked (and rather toy-sounding) acoustic guitar. Virtually all of these instruments seem to personify the titular raindrops, which these songs are not so much "about" as wholly comprised of, figuratively speaking — and so, come to think of it, do Yoshimi Tomida's vocals, at least on the onomatopoeic "Pitter Patter Interlude." Needless to say, there's a considerable amount of cuteness and whimsy on display here — but that's not to suggest that this music is simplistic or overly precious. Apart from that admittedly cutesy interlude, the album is largely instrumental (Tomida's vocals appear on three other tracks, but they're either considerably muffled or substantially processed and manipulated), and largely concerned with gently building up layers of sound to create lush and lazy soundscapes that are wistful and winsome but still majestic in their quiet way. If the song titles and instrumentation make the childlike qualities of Lullatone's music inescapable, and perhaps suggest a whiff of gimmicky novelty, the music itself reveals that essence to be much more fundamental — even performed entirely on "adult" synthesizers and classical instruments and given banal, non-descriptive titles (which these pieces are both abstract and accomplished enough to accommodate), the music's simple beauty and sense of wonder would remain undeniable. ~ K. Ross Hoffman, Rovi


Formed: 2001 in Nagoya, Japan

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

The delicate lap-pop project Lullatone came together shortly after Shawn James Seymour moved from his hometown of Louisville, KY, to Nagoya, Japan, with his girlfriend and bandmate, Yoshimi Tomida. The two initially met in an intercultural communications class at the Bellarmine University. At one point during class, the teacher asked the exchange students what they had trouble adjusting to in America. Tomida replied that she was having trouble adjusting to American food, so after class Seymour offered...
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