According to Heavenstamp a companion to the previous album Love Builders that was released in 2019, From the Basement is album number four for the Tokyo-based indie rock band. Consisting of 8 tracks – if you buy the album through Setsuzoku Records then you will receive an exclusive track, titled Virtual – the duo presents a versatile record where you as a listener are presented with various genres. Aspects of grunge, shoegaze and poppy vibes are all around your ears as you continue to move through the album. This variation on From the Basement is intriguing, to say the least.
2020 was a lost year for many, but many musicians still thought to make sense of it. A tour through the UK was out of the question for the duo, which is why the British rock-inspired duo started focusing on a new album.
From the Basement is an album that should give a boost to those who are currently mentally trapped by the ongoing situation of the pandemic. This makes it a topical album, but it is not exactly an ‘ode’ to 2020. It’s a record that says that you are not alone in it and that you definitely shouldn’t give up. In the end, the album gives the feeling that it will be alright. In the interview AVO Magazine had with Heavenstamp, the band shared a bit about the album concept: “It depicts facing the world, and yourself, asking questions and trying to expand your experience with inner strength. The title From the Basement also reflects the situation of many people being restricted in their actions and trapped in their homes due to the pandemic”.
Sail to Heaven, which also received a music video, started the album slowly and dreamy, but is, therefore, the perfect track to draw you into the album. But if this first track is not speaking to you, it should be noted that this one track doesn’t prepare you for what you can expect from the album. For a first listener of the music of Heavenstamp, it is advised to give the record a whole listen before deciding on a conclusion for yourself. Given the album’s versatility and its play with different musical genres, chances are that you will find many more opportunities to be captivated by the record. Prepare for the discovery of the many aspects of Heavenstamp. So in this case, From the Basement can be seen as a real grower.
Sally#Cinnamon’s voice leaves a powerful impression, which can be delicate, rock-solid and everything in between. On a guitar-driven background, her voice comes out very well, since she grabs all the chances to take all the space around her to let her voice heard as can be best heard in 蜘蛛の糸 (Kumonoito). Many tracks on the album are mostly very brilliant sing-alongs that will probably also do well at live shows, such as 時の旅人 (Tokinotabibito) and the cute bonus track Virtual, while Mind the Gap is also a good earworm thanks to the refrain.
After eight tracks, the album does not feel exactly finished as From the Basement definitely hungers for more – which is totally not a bad thing to mention – but it is surely a perfect comeback for the duo after their last album.
01. Sail to Heaven
03. 蜘蛛の糸 (Kumonoito）
04. 心に火をつけて (Kokoronihiotsukete）
05. 愛に由来 (Ainiyurai）
06. Mind the Gap
07. 時の旅人 (Tokinotabibito）
08. Virtual (exclusive bonus track)
From the Basement is available from Friday 26 February, 2021. The European edition of the album, get it through Setsuzoku Records, features a 12-page booklet and English liner notes and lyrics in both Japanese and romaji.