Compromising a sound world between post-rock, downtempo and electronic styles, Tokyo three-piece band Spangle call Lilli line’s simple rock façade belies their unique personality in the burgeoning indie rock landscape of Japan.
The band from the Shimokitazawa neighbourhood planted their seed in the music scene with tracks like ‘IRIE’, from their self-titled debut album in 2001. Although they started off with a timeless indie rock personality, there are pockets of musical embellishments that speak for their distinct creative craft. The track’s central episode embraces some outlandish harmonic decorations from the subtle synth and an unforeseen jump into a jazz vibe prompted by the deep acoustic bass line. Along with the calm vocals of 大坪加奈 Otsubo Kana, one can look forward to tread through a vivid post-rock ambience infused with a positive pop rock undercurrent.
‘veek’ from their 2002 album Nanae is a musical narrative of two halves. The track ripples away in a delicate flow with an opening instrumental introduction that sounds as though it preceded the cute sound world of Lullatone. The floating feeling continues with Otsubo’s feathery vocals, serene harmonies flowing peacefully and beautifully subdued drumbeats. Then all of a sudden, the band picks up the momentum in a burst of sonic energy and adrenaline-rushed rhythms and riffs before unwinding back to the meditative affair.
15 years on from the dawn of their existence in the music scene, Spangle call Lilli line have expanded their palette with entrancing numbers like ‘tesla’. Trickling away with colourful sounds ranging from Mogwai-esque ambient post-rock overtones to melancholic jazz trumpet and sax melodies in the distance, ‘tesla’ is a spellbinding track that opens with a Brian Eno-like minimalist piano backdrop and wanders through a slow-brewing atmosphere with gentle, feathery vocals against an intricate beat line laced with hip-hop/dub and electronica flavours.
Spangle call Lilli line are an intriguing band whose music exudes a preciousness that makes then an intriguing and worthwhile listening experience.
- Out of Sight
© Isaku Takahashi