Olde Worlde is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Sohhei Numata. Hailing from Machida, Tokyo, Sohhei learned English by tuning in to American Forces Radio and listening to ’90s alternative music, an influence that is clear all across third LP The Blue Musk-Oxen.
His earlier self-produced works were charming affairs with a rough edge, but producer Brad Wood (who has worked with Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair, Ben Lee, Tortoise and many others) is on hand here to give the record a tight, polished sound.
The songs themselves are delightful. As you might expect they’re heavily influenced by American bands, but rather than sound like bad facsimiles of the music he was absorbing via his radio, they greet you like old friends. It’s all effortless-sounding, joyful pop tunes filled with radio-friendly choruses and sparkling musical & vocal performances. Singles Your Bird and Stuck In Hibernation are perfect introductions to Sohhei’s work, all delicate lilt, fractured guitars and buoyant pace. Other highlights include Number City and the simply amazing Thinking About You.
It’s a shame and a surprise that Olde Worlde hasn’t already had a big impact – since his debut EP Time and Velocity he’s proved himself to be a very capable and captivating songwriter. The Blue Musk-Oxen is not just a great record to cheer you up as the summer ends, but one that will keep you enchanted all year around.
1 September 2014.
Number City, Thinking About You (video below), Stuck In Hibernation (lyric video below).