Fog On The Lens

by Tomo Nakayama

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    Compact Disc of "Fog On The Lens" with artwork by Frida Clements and photography by Alicia Palaniuk.

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about

Tomo Nakayama is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter from Seattle, Washington. Fog On The Lens is his first solo album, made after nearly a decade fronting beloved Seattle chamber-pop band Grand Hallway, and composing for and acting in Lynn Shelton’s Sundance Grand Jury nominated film “Touchy Feely”.

Fog On The Lens was written and recorded during a residency at Town Hall Seattle. Literally handed the keys to the historic building for three months, Tomo utilized the 92 year old Roman-revival style hall as his own personal recording studio. Recording alone at odd hours of the night, Tomo used a single microphone plugged directly into his laptop to capture the natural acoustics of the various rooms of Town Hall. Emphasis was placed on first takes and keeping the performances as raw and unedited as possible. In essence and in spirit, Fog On The Lens is a bedroom album created in a cathedral-sized room.

To mix the record, Tomo enlisted the help of producer/multi-instrumentalist Yuuki Matthews (of The Shins and Teardrops). Yuuki displayed an immediate and intuitive understanding of Tomo’s vision, mixing onto analog 4-track cassette tape and overdubbing his own wildly imaginative array of analog synthesizers and homemade keyboard sounds which heighten the album’s evocative, dream-like atmosphere.

Fog On The Lens finds Tomo pursuing a rawer, more playfully spontaneous and intimate sound than the dense, fully orchestrated sound of Grand Hallway. It combines elements of the acoustic and electronic, analog and digital, lo-fi and hi-fi, the urban and the pastoral. The past and future collide in a colorful, hazy collage. It bears the influence of Tomo’s favorite musicians like Arthur Russell, Bjork, Paul Simon, Cass McCombs, The Velvet Underground, and Ryuichi Sakamoto, yet exists in a world entirely of its own. Fog On The Lens is a quietly confident step forward from a restless soul, unafraid to follow his muse, wherever it leads him.

credits

released March 25, 2015

Performed, Produced, and Mixed by Tomo Nakayama and Yuuki Matthews

Recorded at Town Hall, Wallace Falls State Park, Bluebird Guesthouse, Palatine House, and Nioma.

Mastered by Ed Brooks at RFI

Cover Art and Layout by Frida Clements, Photography by Alicia Palaniuk

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Track Name: Fog on the Lens
Open my eyes to the light of the morning
You made a sound as the song it was forming
Fog on the lens, little signals they bend in the air

I rest my head on the ground for a moment
I trace the shapes in the sky for a moment
Fog on the lens, I'm alone at the end of the world
Fog on the lens, I'm a speck when the moment's rehearsed
All in a light, all alive
All in a light, all is alive

So if you return to the song of the morning
Let's sing it again but this time with more feeling.
Track Name: Fallen Cedar
Walk along the riverside
Who knows where the sun will guide me
I will leave the day behind
Who knows where the evening finds me
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
I will read by candlelight
I will bathe in cold clear water
I will kiss the moon so bright
Soon I will be dreaming of her
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Climbed atop the highest hill
Count the rings on fallen cedar
All around her growing still
All her sons and all her daughters
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Evergreens come cover me
Return me to the sky
Soon I'll be a memory
Who asked the reason why, the reason why
Grateful for the life we're in
Grateful for the second chances
Like the branch against the wind
How he bends, but still he dances
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Walk along the riverside
Who knows where the sun will guide me
I will leave my cares behind
Who knows where tomorrow finds me
Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
Track Name: Green World
Since I got to you baby, I’m an empty can of coke
Just a toss on the sidewalk from an old forgotten joke
There’s miles of open real estate most everywhere I go
Ain’t nobody living here that you need to know
Saw a young man bent over with a bucket full of birds
An old man all broken, pointing muzzles at the herd
Since I got to you baby, I’m the lining on your coat
All pressed down and faded, too thin to keep you warm
There is no beginning
And there is no end
Just metals spinning
A song with no end, a song with no end
On a snow covered hillside lay puddles made of blood
The circles mark places to be washed before the flood
Since I got to you baby, I’m the whitest cloud around
You see what you want in me while you’re lying on the ground
Since I got to you baby, I’m the darkest cloud around
You see what you want in me while you’re lying on the ground
Track Name: Magnolias (for Philip)
Take a walk in the dark
Snow will fall in Central Park
It’s getting late, it’s getting late
Hard of hearing, out of sight
Oh hard hearted appetite
Now where to go, where to go
Sometimes it’s hard to know
Whom you are waiting for
When eaters and feeders look the same
Called upon your only friend
Does no one answer their phones these days?
Now what to do, what to do
Scraping off your face in the mirror
Guess you’ll fall asleep right here
On the floor, on the floor
All debts are piling up
Time is an empty cup
The past and the future look the same
Someday we’ll find you there
Magnolias in your hair
And all along I knew
You would be leaving soon
Someday they’ll find you there
Magnolias in your hair
And all along I knew
You would be leaving soon
Can’t out run the shadows...
Track Name: Nightingale
I seen blues and silvers all dancing into each other
Wide eyed elderflowers all blooming unto the heather
All these summer days of gold
On waves that come and go
Meet me by the road that leads
Out to where the earth will find the sea
And like drops of water go rippling out in the distance
Blurred out photographs of each every moment we’re missing
Guess I’ll always be surprised
By how morning fills our eyes
If memory serves, and memory leaves
You deserve to live this life complete
Oh my lonesome stranger
Let all our days begin
We’ll call in the hallways
Fill the spaces in between
No more spaces in between
Come along nightingale, nightingale
Further on starlings sail in the vale
I’ll be home wherever you are
Fill the spaces in between
No more spaces in between
Come along nightingale, nightingale
Further on starlings sing in the vale
You’ll be home wherever we are
With a word our day begins
With a love our life begins
With your word my day begins
With your love my life begins
With your word my day begins
With your love my life begins
Track Name: Cold Clear Moon
There by the light of the morning dew
There by the light of the afternoon
There by the light of the cold clear moon
There by the light of the afternoon
I love you always
I love you always
Then if I saw you would you feel the same
Then if I saw you would you know my name
There by the light of the cold clear moon
There by the light of the afternoon
I love you always
I love you always
And I all I see is you
All I see is you
Always
Track Name: Shadows
Phantom breeze casting shadows on the leaves
Through these trees someone out there calls for me
A ghostly sight, I can see the river flowing into thee
A ghostly light, I can see the river flowing into thee
And I breathe, embers glowing underneath
Deep blue sea, someone out there waits for me
A ghostly sight, I can see the river flowing into thee
In pale moonlight, I can see the river flowing into thee
All alone, all alone
You can dance, you can dance
You can dance like there’s no one there
Phantom breeze casting shadows on the leaves
Deep blue sea, someone out there longs for me
All alone, all alone
You can dance, you can dance
You can dance like there’s no one there
You can dance, you can dance
You can dance like there’s no one there
You can sing, you can sing
You can sing like there’s no one listening
Track Name: Darkest of Seasons
Mother did I hear you pray
Brother do you know the way
I’ve been meaning to reach out to you
Heard you talking in your dreams
Love, although I know it seems
All we’re doing here is dangling
There’s a light at the end of the gray
‘Cos you know it is true what they say
It’s the darkest of seasons when we only have rain
Though it’s hard to remember
There’s a light at the end of the gray
Daughter do you see the road
Many miles before we go
There’s a forest where the trees do grow
There’ll be evenings in the clouds
Times when people let you down
Times you’re singing just to drown it out
But there’s a light at the end of the gray
‘Cos you know it is true what they say
There’s a hope beyond reason in the love we have made
Though it’s hard to remember
There’s a light at the end of the gray
There’s a light at the end of the gray
‘Cos you know it is true what they say
It’s the darkest of seasons before we have MayThough it’s hard to remember
There’s a light at the end of the gray
Though it’s hard to remember
There’s a light at the end of the gray
Track Name: Open Room
Here in the open room
I hear your body move
Pushing air in waves of blue
Here in the open room
‘Cos no one here is quite like you
No one here is made so true
Share with me your ear
Share with me your view
Here in the open room
Share with me your tune
‘Cos no one here can sing like you
No one knows the song like you
Oh the trouble of leaving
Oh whenever we’re leaving
Oh I know that I’m leaving
Oh the trouble we’re leaving
Track Name: Off the Grid
I had a dream about leaving
I had a dream of the past
I had a taste of the good life
I knew that it’d never last
I had a view of the ocean
I had a hold of the West
Had to let go of the notion
Of holding on, holding on
Come come come come come come
Come come come come come come
I saw the scenery repeating
There by the side of the road
I had a dream of Nebraska
I only know you in song
There in Louisiana twilight
There by the light of the moon
There through the stretch of the bayou
You hum along, you hum along
Come come come come come come
Come come come come come come
No more history
No more ties
No more history
We’re off the grid, we’re off the grid, we’re off the grid
We’re off the grid, we’re off the grid, we’re off the grid
Come come come come come come
Come