Last Night by the dresscodes

Released: 22.09.02 / Label: EVIL LINE RECORDS

The dresscodes is a solo project by multi-instrumentalist Ryohei Shima. What started out as a full band back in 2012 morphed into a solo project in 2014 and has featured a variety of guest players for recording sessions and shows. The project has had a lot of success over the years, with festival performances, a YouTube channel boasting close to 12 million views, and music featured in the CG film GANTZ:O among other achievements. So a seasoned veteran of the Japanese music industry who, while not quite independent, seems to be making a go of it on his own while covering a refreshingly wide range of musical styles.

Today’s track Last Night is a masterfully crafted dream-pop tune that has a great groove. The melody is smooth and easy to listen to, in fact the whole song is wrapped in a nice cushion of synth blankets that make it really soft on the ears. The mix is really incredibly well done. The soft, washy nature of the song actually hides some fantastic instrumental parts going on in the background. Every part is really well placed, and just active enough to work with the whole.

Ryohei’s vocals are very unique, and this song is a great example of the soft, breathy, almost-falsetto tone he approaches each piece with. It’s definitely going to be the area that divides listeners, though. I think it works well here (it doesn’t always) and it meshes well with the light feel of the song. I also particularly enjoy the use of percussion and synth effects, in particular the wind chimes. It’s rare to hear those used so sparingly when they’re present. I’d definitely consider adding this to a few relaxing playlists.

Verdict: Worth your time (3.6/5)

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