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New The Mari On The Beach: Play Music, Sing A Song

Osaka’s The Mari On The Beach put out a new album online last week called Play Music, Sing A Song, the follow-up to last year’s lovely lo-fi pop collection Get Out Of Making Music (advice they did not follow, thankfully). This album moves a bit away from the guitar-pop that dotted The Mari’s 2011 album, the group now exploring the sounds they can wring out of their guitars and keyboards. They still have a few instances of straightforward song goodness – see the “The World” or the indie-pop skipping of “Opening Theme,” the most conventional track on the album – but the bulk of Play Music focuses on instrumental (or at least, mostly instrumental) songs where the emphasis gets placed on the sounds themselves. “Commuting To Work Through The Woods” presents what The Mari can create using what sounds like a single keyboard, while “Mariko” touches on spoken-word moodiness. Elsewhere, they dive into cut-and-slice productions and hard-rock spectacles. The most intriguing element of the album, though, is the drum noises…whereas Get Out Of Making Music carried a lo-fi sheen that sometimes hurt the overall quality of the songs, Play Music sounds crisper, especially the drums which shift shapes from track to track. The great moments of pop remain, but The Mari are just as keen on experimenting with sounds here. Listen and buy the album here.