New Jersey composer and pianist Etop releases his eclectic throwback track, ‘Tomoko and the Star Dust’. A collage of 70s pop flavors and textures, the track is motored by a wide variety of studio musicians performing the violin, Theremin, guitar, vintage organ, Dj scratches and whistling. The line-up of instruments alone should convince you that this is no ordinary pop song.
And if that’s not enough, then let lead singer Juri ify Love persuade you with a timbre that sits between reality and fantasy, and extremely reminiscent of the endearing and ethereal Vocaloid synthesized voices. After the first listen I realized that I got lost in Juri ify Love’s haunting voice somewhere in the middle of the line “Love, Romance, everything feels like melting in a dream…”
Anything I say about this track will be unsatisfying to me because this music touches places that are hard to explain. We like to think we know who we are and what we are doing, and yet I suspect that beneath the surface we all harbor secret love, regret and hope.
The music from Etop speaks directly to things beneath our surfaces. But ‘Tomoko and the Star Dust’ does not merely speak; it seduces and convinces us that our feelings are being expressed in the music. We remember, soar or weep when the music turns in a particular direction.
If you have some empathy for this music, you will be taken on a journey to nostalgic places full of love. It is romantic and heart felt, but unlike most things you have heard recently.
From the first whistle nestled between the lush melodic warmth of the gorgeous opening notes to the final ebbing away of the gently reassuring beauty of a serenely familiar acoustic guitar landscape, Etop gathers you close for a languid and lovely sonic experience that goes down like a secure, comfortable dream.
Don’t take that to mean that ‘Tomoko and the Star Dust’ is in any way dull or boring. It is not. It’s just occupying a different space than you might be used to. With a deft touch and a gifted ear, Etop conjures up a little taste of magic for us.
The sound hovers in the air, sweet and uncluttered, with each separate part, portion, note and beat melded perfectly to craft a complete and full, sonically sublime, whole. With your head reeling, ears spangled, and heart swelling you will soar into a strange paradise.