Hazy Eyes Maybe is the debut release from Tokyo native Koichi Yamanoha, now working under the moniker of Grimm Grimm. You may know Yamanoha from psych-punk outfit Screaming Tea Party. Now focusing on solo work and heading in a new direction, Yamanoha creates dense, melodic soundscapes, complimented with his soft, wistful vocals. Often described as ‘space-folk’, it’s dark, psychedelic and playful. If you’re a fan of Connan Mockasin, this is sure to be an enjoyable listen.
‘Kazega Fuitara Sayonara’ is a hypnotic opener. It slowly builds, casting a certain spell on the listener. However, it isn’t exactly reflective of what’s to come. ‘Last Word Is Mine’ is a particular stand-out. Playful carnival melodies are brilliantly placed alongside catchy chord progressions, pining vocals and melodic hooks. You’ll also find some charming melodic guitar work on tracks such as ‘Teleportation’, ‘Hazy Eyes Maybe’ and ‘Youth From Muswell Hill’, hinting towards his native Japan. When you feel the record is slightly meandering, Grimm Grimm takes you up a few gears with the heavier ‘Walk Into The Cold Water With You’ and ‘Knowing’, with the former sure to become a fan-favourite at his shows.
This is a compelling debut from Grimm Grimm. It impresses most after a few listens, and you become immersed in its reverie. It’s far too easy to use dense reverb to mask a lack of quality and artistic direction. Thankfully, that is not the case here. Instead, it blankets the record, leaving an enjoyable sonic signature alongside some quality songwriting. You’ll find yourself returning to this one again and again.
‘Hazy Eyes Maybe’ is out now on ATP Recordings. The full track-listing for the album is as follows…
‘Kazega Fuitara Sayonara’
‘Tell the Truth’
‘Last Word is Mine’
‘Hazy Eyes Maybe’
‘Robert Downey Syndrome’
‘Walk into the Cold Water with You’
‘Youth from Muswell Hill’