Not so much a band as the solo work of multi-instrumentalist Tatsuya Namai, Apartment is a bedroom-pop act with a DIY ethos. With its cheap-sounding production and instruments constantly on the brink of going out of tune, “Sparkle Bicycle” harks back to 1980s U.K. and U.S. “cassette culture” — think of indie-pop bands such as The Pastels.
The main musical influences, though, go back further to The Beatles and The Zombies. Throughout “Sparkle Bicycle” — Apartment’s third album — the retro elements tread a thin line between influence and outright pastiche. “When I See That Girl of Mine” is a cheerful and infectiously catchy blast of early Manfred Mann-style British Invasion pop and in “Tone Sunset” the resemblance of Namai’s voice to that of John Lennon is evident, particularly against the heavily Beatles-influenced musical backdrop.