LA trio, Tashaki Miyaki, explorers of dreamy, hazy, melodic guitar pop are releasing their latest album, ‘Castaway,’ due out July 2nd via Metropolis Records. The new record sees the band expanding their musical palette with songs circling around the themes of love, memory and time which are haunting, catchy and soothing.
Now, they share the new single, I Feel Fine, accompanied by a noirish video, a homage to Paige Stark’s favourite vampire films. During the last stages of recording ‘Castaway’ as the global pandemic descended, the band felt they needed one final track to really tie the record together. “I wrote ‘I Feel Fine’ at the beginning of Covid-19 unfolding and it felt like it belonged to the record. I said lot of the things my friends were saying to me about their lives, so it felt right to add it”, singer Paige Stark explains. “I was inspired by the emotion of the Replacements song “Unsatisfied” and wanted to write my own ode to dissatisfaction. I always say I’m fine when it’s quite the contrary, so I started there and got more and more specific with each verse.” The trio got together at Joel Jerome’s East Los Angeles studio in the midst of a blistering mid-summer heatwave and hammered out the track on a sweltering August afternoon. “We knew this was the finishing touch” says guitarist Luke Paquin.
The video for I Feel Fine was shot in East Los Angeles and directed by Stark. It’s an homage to her favourite vampire films including A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Only Lovers Left Alive and what she calls 1950s fashion. “I am imagining the vampires died in the 1950s so they’re still wearing the clothes of their time.” This is the first time the band has appeared in one of their videos. “We are all movie lovers so this was a fun way for us to all be in the video. And who doesn’t love a good vampire moment”
In a recent interview, Stark told Nylon Magazine, “’Castaway’ is about the challenges of romantic love and how we are all bad at it in one way or another. No matter how hard we try, at some point we are going to fail and hurt ourselves or our partners.” She adds “The idea of a castaway in all this is that no one understands the relationship except the people in it, so you really are stuck on an island alone”. This theme reigns throughout the record. Paige sings with unapologetic directness in her voice of love and heartbreak. Never falling into despair despite the heavy subject matter, she manages to find an optimism in the complexity of relationships.
‘Castaway’ also features guest appearances from The Heartbreaker’s Benmont Tench, multi-instrumentalist Jon Brion (who also aided in mixing the record), and local LA legend, Joel Jerome. The record is produced by Stark who guided the band to push themselves into new spaces. They tried to deconstruct their own sound and reboot from that place, while letting some beloved influences echo throughout. Paige says, “We tried to incorporate new soundscapes. Like, what if there isn’t as much reverb on everything? What would be the less obvious sonic choice here? What if everything isn’t as fuzzy and smeary? What sounds have we not tried? What if we let stuff be a little naked?”
Paige also pushed her boundaries lyrically, going deeper and more personal, never shying away from uncomfortable emotions. “When I wrote the title track, I was thinking about love and how it changes over time if you stay in something long enough. It gets hard. It’s a pretty melancholy record, I guess. I always try to be direct, but I didn’t have as much life lived on the first record. I saw things very black and white, and perhaps simpler. Now I see a lot more grey and a lot more complexity.“
‘Castaway’ track listing
Good Times (Bonus Track)
Pre-Order the album here