Shintaro SakamotoView in iTunes
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The former leader of Japanese psych rockers Yura Yura Teikoku, Shintaro Sakamoto struck out on his own in 2010 almost immediately after the group disbanded. Inspired by breezy '70s pop from around the world, ranging from bossa nova to folk-rock to sounds popular in his homeland, Sakamoto began recording a set of songs almost completely by himself -- except for female backing vocals, percussion, and woodwinds. The results, How to Live with a Phantom, were released in 2012. Early in 2014, Sakamoto collaborated with Mayer Hawthorne on a split single for that year's Record Store Day. Let's Dance Raw, which incorporated slack key guitar, Latin percussion, vocal effects, and more, arrived that September. In 2016, a version of the song "Disco Is" featuring vocals by Synsuke Ono preceded Sakamoto's third album, Love If Possible. The album was released in Japan that July and received a wider release in 2017. ~ Heather Phares