Japanese singer/songwriter SpaceWind hails from the island nation’s capital of Tokyo and doesn’t devote herself to a recording career alone – she works as a vocal coach and in the field of psychology as well. It is clear, however, when you hear “Now & Forever”, she is a born writer and performer. The single is a fully realized entry in the long tradition of large scale cinematic pop with wide-ranging synth and guitar contributions lighting up each second of its four minutes and twenty two seconds running time. Modern practitioners of pop music cut their tracks from a different cloth for the most part – the pervasive influence of hip hop has driven melody into the background, but SpaceWind’s compositional skills recall an earlier era in popular music, not far removed from present day, when melody reigned supreme as the cornerstone of any song with staying power. “Now & Forever”, without question, has that same sort of staying power and holds up under repeated listens.

DEEZER: https://www.deezer.com/us/track/4814316

Her vocals are the stand out element in the musical mix. She doesn’t sing in English, a potential stumbling block for listeners, but set aside any misgivings you may have and SpaceWind will reward you with a deeply felt vocal transcending any linguistic limitations. Bringing such considerable emotion into her singing has the effect for non-Japanese listeners of a soul or blues singer vocalizing without words – it isn’t scat singing, per se, as SpaceWind is singing actual words, but you respond more to the emotive tone and far less to the actual import of the verbiage. She isn’t singing about typical subjects like man/woman romantic entanglements; instead, there is something much more spiritual going on during “Now & Forever”.

The music provides rich and robust support for that vocal. SpaceWind’s writing marries a number of instruments together into a layered collage of sound that is functional rather than ornamental. Nothing she includes comes across as excessive and each component of the musical presentation dovetails into the next and it creates a mini-pop symphony of sorts with every bit the same emotional range we hear in the vocal. The track makes the pairing of synthesizer and guitar especially stunning and a solo from the latter during the cut’s second half packs an enormous wallop.

OTOTOY: https://ototoy.jp/_/default/p/423432

“Now & Forever” has a different DNA than much of what we hear in modern pop music and as a result, sounds fresher to my ears than any recent pop tune in memory. SpaceWind isn’t remaking the musical wheel with this release, but she doesn’t need to. She does something much more fundamental – she revamps an existing style with imagination and by bringing every ounce of her own personality to bear on the final result. This alone would make “Now & Forever” worth taking notice of and the reality that she manages to create a eye and ear popping musical universe in the span of a little less than four and a half minutes makes her accomplishment all the more formidable. Let’s hope we hear something new from her soon.

Michael Rand

The music of SPACEWIND has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Records. Learn more – https://musikandfilm.com

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