Lullatone: The Sounds of Spring

Guided by the principle that “every basket is a picnic basket,” Yoshimi and Shawn James Seymour return with the final chapter in their seasons-themed series of EP releases. Arriving like clockwork after the release of Summer Songs, Falling for Autumn, and While Winter Whispers, The Sounds of Spring perpetuates the project's overall joyful vibe while also cranking it up a notch in keeping with the revitalizing spirit of the season.

Much like they did with the previous EPs, the Japan-based Seymours celebrate spring's arrival by first listing some of their favourite things, among them “short sleeves” and “debating whether or not to share your lunch with a pigeon,” and then serving up ten melodious vignettes in a concise, twenty-four-minute package.

Toy flutes, glockenspiels, handclaps, and real-world sounds are folded into joy-filled tracks that rarely push past the two-minute mark, and all kinds of uplifting spring moments are celebrated in the duo's candy-coloured concoctions. “Waking Up on a Picnic Blanket” rouses the spirit with a gleeful romp the Seymours animate with acoustic guitar, piano, wordless vocals, and whistling, and one imagines that melody-rich charmers such as “Origami Tulips,” “Outside Sandwiches,” “Wet Grass,” and “The Very First Palm Tree of Spring Break” would appeal as much (if not more) to children as adults.

Presented with such angst-free material, it's hard not to conclude that the couple must be living a life brimming with happiness and innocent pleasures; certainly the evidence at hand suggests that theirs is a world overflowing with childish delight and free of cynicism. The Sounds of Spring is the kind of recording that treats spring cleaning as something to anticipate with excitement and the sight of a sky filled with hot air balloons as the greatest thing in the world.

July-August 2015