Sometimes it can be one aspect of the music that stands out, grabs you immediately and is the reason that you get drawn into the musical world that it comes from. In the case of Olde Worlde, as well as having a cool name, it is definitely the voice. Not to say that I have anything against the music, it is the perfect vehicle for the crystal clear vocals that dance around above the instrumentation, it gives it breathing space, room to stand out, a platform to help it reach its potential. But it is the voice that draws you in for sure.
Olde Worlde is one man, Tokyo based multi-instrumentalist Sohhei Numata, and everything you hear before you on this album is his doing, which makes it even more incredible. The Blue Musk-Oxen is a wonderful collection of acoustic indie folk but where it stands head and shoulders above the competition is as much in its innocent charm, it’s floating, ethereal qualities, a certain intangible otherworldliness that cocoon the songs as much as the songs themselves. Following on from his previous albums Anemone-Whirlwind and The Lemon Shark this album saw him hand over production duties to Brad Wood (Smashing Pumpkins, Liz Phair) and the attention to detail and clarity of the production is another winning factor.
At a time when you don’t know just how honest music is, how much of it is reproducible live, how much is sampled or even who wrote the song, it is great to come across some who is not only a wonderfully self-contained one-man musical machine, but who can make such glorious, crisp, refreshing and ultimately infectious music.