By Alex HudsonA few months ago, we complained that Shintaro Sakamoto's overlooked 2011 pop rock masterpiece, How to Live with a Phantom, didn't look as if it would be getting a domestic North American release anytime soon. We're happy to report that's finally been rectified, since the album -- which came out in Japan through Zelone Records -- will be arriving here via Other Music Recording Co.
While Sakamoto rose to rock'n'roll stardom in his native Japan as the frontman for the late, great Yura Yura Teikoku, How to Live with a Phantom marks his first solo effort. A description from the label notes, "The resulting album is a bold stylistic departure, even for an artist whose career has been defined by them. It is a single-minded exploration of the sounds of 1970s radio pop from around the globe, combining American folk rock and the evocative Japanese pop music that was influenced by it, but simultaneously referencing everything from French pop to Afro-funk, tropicalia, Krautrock and the lighter side of psychedelia."
If you haven't heard the album yet, you can expect songs "built around Sakamoto's hypnotic electric-bass grooves, a crisp drum set and bubbling percussion, layered with guitars and vintage synthesizer."
For a taste of what's in store, check out the perky "In a Phantom Mood" below, as well as the video for album track "You Just Decided," which was animated by Sakamoto himself.
How to Live with a Phantom will come out through the New York record shop Other Music, which has partnered with Fat Possum to start its own label. This will be the label's first full-length, and they couldn't have chosen a better album to begin with.
The exact release date for the domestic release has yet to be announced. Also, it's unclear if the domestic version will feature the bonus disc of instrumentals included with the Japanese version.
UPDATE: How to Live with a Phantom will arrive in North America on July 17. By the looks of things, the bonus instrumental disc will not be included.
And while we likely don't have that long to wait for the album to arrive on our shores, you can still pick up the bonus-disc-equipped import version over at Mesh-Key, who also have the record on double vinyl.