tomemitsu invites the warmth in on ‘Sun’
There’s something about tomemitsu (Martin Roark)’s music that gravitates you towards warmth. That fuzzy feeling is there on the artist’s most popular song, “In Dreams,” where he’s singing over scratchy, distorted production. It’s scattered here and there on his psych-inspired second album, Loaf Eye, where he buzzes along to charming tunes. It’s there again on last year’s fantastic I’ll Be Alright EP, which injects an element of hope to the mix.
So it only makes sense that on his third full-length album, Sun, tomemitsu would once again tap into that production style and name his project after the very warm essence of his music. Life, nature, and light bursts forth throughout the 11 songs on the artist’s third full-length project. Each of the songs here are weathered by the soft glows of the California sun. That glowing light resonates throughout — only this time, tomemitsu’s sound is often fleshed out by a roster of tight-knit collaborators.
Based in Los Angeles, the bedroom pop artist taps into the immense talent that surrounds him in his Echo Park home, featuring collaborations with musicians like V.V. Lightbody, Lala Lala, Eva B. Ross, and Steady Holiday. With each of these songs, tomemitsu and friends add a twinkling of twee charm into Sun’s lo-fi production. On the best of these collaborations, “Wish Erase (ft. V.V. Lightbody and Lala Lala)” and “Waiting for Your Love – Acoustic (ft. Steady Holiday),” tomemitsu and his friends carves out a nice space for each of the artists to shine through. Released well into spring, the songs on Sun are a purifying reminder of camaraderie and the blooming nature that we can find all around us — especially in a year so marked by distress.
Elsewhere on the album, tomemitsu turns his attention towards the refreshing elements of the wild, creating beautiful indie pop on the swooning “And Now – Sunrise” and furthermore on the mounting “So Quiet.” On “The River,” you’ll hear the most pressing moments on Sun, inching forward from the album’s usual leisurely pace. It’s in these faster-paced, more pressing moments that shakes you awake from the hypnotic spell of Sun — and where tomemitsu easily finds his stride. The rest of the album easily washes over you like an early morning haze.
But that’s where the charm of Sun lies. tomemitsu’s whispering, mumbling folk (he rarely, if ever, raises his voice to a shout) gives the same energy as a comforting embrace, or perhaps more fittingly, a ray of sunshine. Each of the songs here are different forms of the same friendly warmth, just waiting to invite you in.
Grab yourself a nice pair of headphones, find a grassy park somewhere, and queue up the songs of Sun for a truly refreshing treat.
Sun is out now on all streaming platforms via Friends Of Friends.
Li-Wei Chu is the chief editor of From the Intercom. When he’s not editing drafts and searching for new artists to cover for the website, he loves watching cult films, cooking, and listening to his ever-growing collection of vinyl records. You can follow him on LetterBoxd and make fun of his taste in movies here!