Tomo Nakayama and Bryan John Appleby | Sunday, April 16
It’s only in the past years that Tomo Nakayama and Bryan John Appleby – the co-headliners at this April 16 show – would be seen as strange bedfellows, musically. In actuality, both emerged from a similar space of contemplative chamber-folk, using their earnest voices to convey any emotions that their carefully composed acoustic guitars, pianos, and strings couldn’t. Over the past decade and change, both artists have grown, implementing every bit of the knowledge they’ve gained in the intervening years, but in recent times, they’ve found themselves at different sonic destinations.
While Appleby has increasingly incorporated synthesizers in his music, mostly as window dressing, Nakayama dove headfirst into the deep end of joyously ebullient synth-pop. Melonday, released in 2020, announced a drastic shift in tone for Nakayama, as his attention turned away from the earthy territory he had previously explored, and toward the sort of shimmering pop that effortlessly worms its way into your head. Amongst the surface sheen, though, the vulnerable voice and naked lyrics of Nakayama’s past work remains. Nakayama’s gift for getting the heart to race is matched by Appleby’s ability to soothe the savage beast, making the two of them working in tandem a force to be reckoned with.
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