Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Shawn Biggs at Studio Paradiso, San Francisco, California
Sometimes, if you're only listening slightly to the song "City," it sounds like Tashaki Miyaki are saying, "Olly olly oxen free," as if they were in the middle of the exciting, heart-thumping conclusion to a game of hide and seek. Theirs would be (and is) more of a subdued version of that ending, where the winning cry is said out of exhaustion, with incredible sleepiness seeping into the statement of liberation. It's a conquest of soft landing and a place to lay one's head for a few hours of peace and quiet.
What the Los Angeles group is really singing is, "Are we all alone?" and still it feels like we're floating away with them, as if we've come unmoored and we're getting closer and closer to where the sun's bound to be setting by the time it gets dark. We'll just keep going with them, right off the edge of the earth, or until we strike something. We can't see past the hand in front of our face, moving through the thickest of darkness, liable to smack into anything and everything unseen and not predicted.
Tashaki Miyaki music leans into this cloudy area of interpretation. There are heightened senses, hanging on every single syllable they coo, working us like a patient. We're smitten with these harmonies that seem to come from the sirens, those magical mists from crisp waters, seducing us with their dream-like cadences and wispiness.