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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 to take her to a local Asian market. They ended up having a picnic, and Seymour moved to Nagoya with her about a year later, where they moved into a tiny apartment. It was there that he was inspired to start writing what he called "tiny songs." Seymour, who didn't sleep much at that time, would stay up late composing and recording lullabies for Tomida, making use of whatever he could get his hands on: xylophones, keyboards, music boxes, sine tones, harps, toy drums, ukuleles, cymbals, shakers, wood blocks, pillows, whispers, heartbeats, bubbles, and, as Seymour put it, "a lot of daydreams." The result was a set of warm, meandering lullabies that came together on Lullatone's 2003 release Computer Recital. Another album, entitled My Petit Melodies, was released soon after that on the Japanese label Childisc. Little Songs About Raindrops, the band's third album, was released in 2005. The new release used a wider array of instrumentation than the previous recordings, featuring Tomida's breathy, childlike vocals and a rich tapestry of organic sounds. 2006's Plays Pajama Pop Pour Vous found Seymour and Tomida continuing their exploration of shimmering, organic tones. 2007's Bedtime Beat followed in the same tradition of cute nighty-night whimsy. ~ Margaret Reges

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