Sleepy solitude is a frequent theme in the dream-pop songs made by Tokyo-based artist Left Right Arms. The solo artist’s first EP, self-released last year, was titled “A Sleep,” while his second EP out a few months later included delicate songs such as “Out Of Bed” and “Cocoon,” the latter of which is about cutting off from the outside world in favor of a comfy bedroom (which is where Left Right Arms creates his music). His latest offering, “Scapes,” finds the burgeoning musician crafting his finest collection yet, a warm collection of pop songs celebrating the intimacy of close quarters.
Most of the songs on “Scapes” embrace a similar, effective blueprint — the bulk of the music (guitar, keyboard, vocals) sounds slightly faint, as if the listener is eavesdropping on the artist from the next apartment over. To keep the songs focused, he anchors each with snappy drum machine beats, which keep them from getting too mushy. Opener “Casement” highlights how effective this approach can be — the woozy synths and vocals are pretty, but it’s the persistent beat that gives it a purpose. The one deviation on the album comes via “Shapes,” which sets a sample of a Kurt Vonnegut lecture about “the shapes of stories” overtop dizzying background music.