Yuma Abe


Purchase via BandcampLight In The Attic (Distribution)

Side A:
Many Strange Things
Beautiful Culture
Touch It

Side B:
Where It Rings a Bell
No Meaning Required

Since 2014 Yuma has been the principal singer and songwriter for the band never young beach, whose uniquely Japanese brand of West Coast-inspired breezy pop has found considerable success in Japan and throughout Asia, with four albums under their belt and sold-out tours with support from the likes of Devendra Banhart and Mild High Club. Abe has not been shy about his admiration for the legendary Haruomi Hosono, who in turn has become his mentor of sorts, and offers his services as a mixing engineer on Fantasia.

Recorded primarily at his home studio in his Tokyo apartment, Fantasia is a marked departure from his band’s expressive guitar bounce, instead offering an intimate glimpse into Yuma’s personal universe. For the Tokyo native, the familiar sights and sounds of city life had suddenly begun to feel encroaching. Even a cab ride became an assault on the senses, incoherent noise blasting incessantly from the in-dash TV. “Since when did it get so loud?”

Within the sanctuary of his own home, Yuma found solace and inspiration in unexpected places: The music of Mort Garson and kankyo ongaku (Japanese ambient and environmental music)  “Without any words to speak of, they gave me strength and encouragement. I was feeling kindness and humor through this music, in ways I’d never experienced before.” Yuma’s room is filled with all things vintage and his favorite pop culture knick knacks, from Ninja Turtles and Simpsons to Iron Man and Star Fighters. On top of the monitor speaker sits a Godzilla figurine. One day it occurred to Yuma that a monster like him must have friends and family, too. He’s probably given up on many things. Suddenly he began to see sadness behind the vicious visage. “Maybe he’s a nice guy. I want to be nice to him.”

The melodies and arrangements may come effortlessly for Yuma, but it's these unexpected existential emotions that serve as the foundation for the rich, understated sounds of Fantasia.

It’s a work created without a plan; a result of letting myself go with the flow.
-Yuma Abe

All Music & Lyrics by Yuma Abe
Vocal and Guitar and Piano: Yuma Abe
Keyboard, Synthesizer: Yuma Koda
Drums and Guitar: Kohei Kamoto
Bass: Jinya Ichikawa
Guest Guitarist / Track 2, 9: Devendra Banhart
Recorded by Hiroshi Ikeda [hmc studio]
Mixed by Yuma Abe / Track 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12
Mixed by Haruomi Hosono / Track 2, 5, 8, 9
Mastered by Tohru Kotetsu [JVC Mastering Center]