Nagisa Ni Te Yosuga

After four album-less years, Osaka’s Nagisa Ni Te have finally brought a new musical artefact to the West, Yosuga, a record that once again shows the band’s love for slow evolution over radical mutation. Like all the duo’s albums, record number seven is not one of big surprises, with the group’s Shinji Shibayama and Masako Takeda sticking tight to their fragile folk pop tones and "head in the clouds” delivery. However, instead of the tripped-out, Neil Young-loving Nagisa Ni Te of old, the band present themselves in a more adult light with Yosuga, shedding any past weirdness and making what once dazed and confused more direct and to the point — at least by Nagisa Ni Te standards. This means crisper, less clouded arrangements that put Shibayama and Takeda’s vocals more squarely in the forefront as their weightless harmonies grab a tighter, more confident hold. Like all Nagisa Ni Te albums though, Yosuga’s crawling pace does demand patience but once it sinks in, it easily marks another highlight in an already impressive career. (Jagjaguwar)