Luminous Orange – How High

Luminous Orange
How High

This Japanese band mixes shoegaze and pop influences, combining lush layers of guitar work with tight rhythm and the most beautiful female vocals – all in Japanese – that you’re ever going to hear. And the end result is something special.

Luminous Orange is probably quite well known in Japan, and perhaps even in the States. The band’s been making music for more than 10 years and released a handful of albums made available outside of Japan. But it’s the first I’ve heard the band, and I’m an instant fan.

I wanted to write about “Starred Leaf,” a track available for download from the band’s myspace page, but I came to realize it’s only a clip. I never understood why bands only put up mp3 clips. So instead, I’m forced to dig around through demos on the band’s page to find something good, and I ended up with “How High,” a track decidedly more rocking than the prettier “Starred Leaf” but nearly as good, even in its demo version.

The song features blazing guitarwork and fast-paced rhythm. The vocals are never a distraction, even in Japanese with a smattering of English (it appears). I’m immediately reminded of Lush, but I think I like this even better than Lush. The guitar is strong and lush, the vocals are great, and the rhythm section is impressive. I find myself immediately immersed in the song.

Nice stuff from a long-working Japanese band. I may be slow to come to the table, but I’m glad I’ve heard these folks.