Dusk to Dawn by Lamp

1 min read

Grade: A-

On October 10, 2023, Japanese indie band Lamp released their eleventh album, Dusk to Dawn. Formed in 2000, Lamp has found an international cult following, beloved for their Shibuya-kei sound: a genre that mixes pop, jazz, lounge, and psychedelic rock. Their newest album echoes their previous works while also taking on a more raw, unfiltered direction. 

The opening song of the album, “Dusk,” is slow and calming. The vocals are slightly muffled and the track uses contrabass, an acoustic bass, to create a sense of dreamy nostalgia. Faint windchimes play in the background as the song swells with gentle harmonies and retro strings. It closes with a soulful oboe solo and a fade-out—a rather vintage choice. 

The following track, “The Last Dance,” opens with a beautiful synth melody embellished with angelic harp. The heavy bass creates a steady rhythm that the listener can fall into just before the beat rapidly picks up, entering an energetic interlude in the final quarter. As the melody grows louder, the song ends and seamlessly transitions into the next track, “As Time Goes By.”

Track seven, “August Calendar,” is a standout, with tropical percussion and upbeat, fun energy. Jazzy brass and synth solos give it a dynamic flow. Despite a relatively longer runtime, clocking in at 3:40, it doesn’t drag due to the precise spacing of the instrumental solos and vocal verses. 

Immediately following is “Late Night Train,” a refreshing contrast to the previous track. The soft synths and drums make it sound as though it would be heard flowing out of a quiet jazz bar. Living up to its name, it is a song perfect to accompany a chilly, late night on a train. The end of the song ends abruptly in a tape rewire before immediately jumping into what is up next. 

The album itself, named after the shifting light throughout the day, also uses seasonal themes in several places throughout the tracklist. In “Autumn Letter,” the soft singing coupled with the delicate strumming of a guitar creates a delicate song about a faded love letter in a sleepy city. 

The mysterious expression of love is followed by “Summer Triangle,” which uses distinct religious symbols like church bells and humming akin to prayer. Instrumentally, the elements of faith implicit to the song are reminiscent of a wedding, adding to the feeling of deep passion that came from “Autumn Letter.”

The album ends with “Dawn,” a calm track that incorporates a relaxed synth to represent the rising sunshine. By the end of the album, the listener has listened to an entire night of sweet love songs and nostalgic melodies about time passing.  Lamp is a band you can listen to at any hour of the night with their heavenly vocals and dreamy melodies.

Sonia is a senior in her third year of M-A Journalism and is a current Editor-in-Chief. She primarily covers local news, popular culture, and community events at M-A. She also began "The Music Moment" column, runs the Chronicle's social medias, and regularly contributes to breaking news articles. In her free time, you can find her editing Spotify playlists or reading a great book. You can also find her work on the blog for jwa.org!

Leehan is a senior and this is her first year in journalism. She finds interest in fashion, the arts, and M-A’s diverse student life.

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