Thursday, September 11, 2008


My obsession with Japanese songstresses making beautiful noise is at an all-time high. Be prepared, because over the span of the next few posts, this will be a recurring theme. The first lady in line is Caroline Lufkin. She was born in Japan, but currently resides in LA, Her sister, Olivia, is a J-pop star in Japan, and Caroline herself had her fair share of working with a mainstream label there. However, due to creative differences, she left the label and ended up being signed to Temporary Residence Limited, after emailing her demos to them. Caroline's music can be best described as melodic, electronic dream-pop. Her doll-like, amiable vocals over lush soundscapes create a tiny little utopian world over which innocence predominates. Imagine The Postal Service, fronted by a Japanese Emilie Simon. There are certain hints of Bjork or Imogen Heap, too. Caroline's debut, entitled 'Murmurs', is a strong album where each song is as consistent and accesible as the next, which means if you like one, you'll pretty much enjoy all the rest. On a scale of 1 to 5, I'd give it a solid 3,5/5. If you want more variety, then you can check out the digital-only remix album, 'Murmurs Mixes'. A couple of the reinterpretations shine through, like the dancey Owen Vallis mix or the Lullatone one with the band's signature micro-pop sounds. However, none manages to surpass the beautiful originals. I should mention that she sings in English, so no language barriers here, but I wouldn't mind if she sang in Japanese, though. Sample the choice cuts below, tanoshindene! (Which apparently means 'Enjoy' in Japanese. No, I just googled that!)

Caroline - Where's My Love
Caroline - Sunrise
(Murmurs, 2006)

Caroline - Sunrise (Sunset Mix)
Caroline - All I Need (Owen Vallis Mix)
(Murmurs Mixes, 2008)