Lagniappe (la ·gniappe) noun ‘lan-ˌyap,’ — 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus.
Following an extended amount of time at home during the global pandemic, Tokyo-based singer-songwriter Yuma Abe was struck with a bout of inspiration. Away from his day job fronting the band Never Young Beach, Yuma found the space needed to conjure up Fantasia, his first solo album, out now digitally via his own imprint Thaian Records, and released on vinyl this fall via Temporal Drift. While Fantasia has echoes of his band’s classic tunefulness, Yuma on his own strikes a much more subdued and introspective tone, both in his lyrics and the understated instrumentation. For his Lagniappe Session, Yuma cites influences and inspirations, including Devendra Banhart, who toured with Never Young Beach in Japan and contributes guitar to Fantasia, and Haruomi Hosono (Chu Kosaka’s former bandmate and frequent collaborator), who has become a mentor of sorts, offering his services as a mixing engineer on the album. Yuma on his selections, below.
Yuma Abe :: Hazukashisouni (Chu Kosaka)
I’d been wanting to cover this song since about a year ago. The reasons are simple: I knew I liked the song the second I heard it. It’s got a sound that you can just keep listening to, with a nice rhythm that you can relax to.
Yuma Abe :: Baby (Devendra Banhart)
This is a song that’s very close to my heart. My life changed after hearing this song. I’d never heard a sound like it before. I was about 20 when a friend of mine first played me the song. All the different kinds of guitar phrases felt really good to me. When Devendra played in Kyoto I asked him to play the song, and he did…I remember feeling really excited, but also being really touched by that. I have very strong feelings toward this selection.