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The Big Takeover Issue #93
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Damon & Naomi with Kurihara - A Sky Record (20-20-20)

6 August 2021

Boston duo Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang have had a long relationship with legendary Japanese psych guitarist extraordinaire Michio Kurihara (Ghost, Boris, the Stars, White Heaven), but haven’t been able to record with him in a decade. Getting back to Tokyo just before all windows closed due to the pandemic, the pair was finally able to renew this fruitful creative partnership with A Sky Record. As usual, Krukowski and Yang essay their thoughtful folk rock, powered by the former’s acoustic guitar and relaxed drumming and the latter’s keyboard accents and melodic bass work, as well as their measured, tuneful singing. Naturally, Michio adds tasteful electric guitar, from the heart-tugging slide riffs on “Midnight” and the dreamy volume pedal work on “Invincible” to the fuzz guitar solo and ambient arpeggios on “Oceans in Between” and the sublime fills on “Season Without Time.” Combined with the leaders’ unfailingly tuneful writing, the effect is luminescent and beautiful, like leaves glistening after a steady rain. With recent Covid surges, it’s unclear when this chemistry-soaked trio might collaborate once again, but until then, A Sky Record more than satisfies.