Grand Hallway has created quite a unique place in pop music. Their songs are an interesting medium between baroque orchestral pop and traditional Japanese music. Given their prior releases, hearing the sounds on Promenade is no surprise. Led by master songwriter Tomo Nakayama, Promenade finds Grand Hallway expanding on their musical abilities.
Promenade is much more dramatic than Yes Is The Answer, their debut LP. It takes the listener on a journey; each song follows a romantic storyline. The path is one that finds Nakayama joining with artists as diverse as The Maldives, Voyager One, and Sleepy Eyes of Death to total an impressive eight. The octet, then, produces a sound full and encompassing. Each run through Promenade will draw forth new elements, providing the listener with another chance to listen to the album for the first time.
“Raindrops” may begin soft, with a patter of plucked guitar strings, but it grows into one of the more beautiful melodies heard this year. “Blessed Be, Honey Bee” continues with a strength only eight can provide, while “Elinor With The Golden Hair” brings forward the Japanese influence with an oriental string sound. Toward the end, “Sirens” shines with multiple vocals compounding and swirling amidst an array of orchestration.
The rumors are that Grand Hallway is poised to break out with this release, and I can sure believe it. Promenade is an impressive journey, one that blurs reality with a fictitious dream-world both colorful and mysterious. In Promenade, Grand Hallway has pieced together a masterpiece, one that will certainly garner Nakayama and the seven that accompany him fame in the world of independent music.
Promenade will not be released until this September, but you can pre-order it now from the Grand Hallway website.
Grand Hallway: Blessed Be, Honey Bee [mp3]
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1. Raindrops (Matsuri)
2. Blessed Be, Honey Bee
3. Under The Roof
4. Elinor With The Golden Hair (Tsukimi)
5. In A Cave
6. Usagi No Uta
7. Happy New Year
8. Pearrygin (Quite A Quiet)
10. The Passenger (Minuet For Americans)