Soundtracks for Everyday Adventures [Bandcamp Album Page]

Lullatone – duo Shawn James and Yoshimi Seymour – have a way of wiring directly into some wonder-filled, joyful place. And we know as artists that requires not just an impulse, but a way of connecting emotionally with ideas. With their release earlier this year, we heard their terrific Elevator Music – but also noted that they spent a little effort even on creating a comfy workspace to keep the music coming.

Lullatone Have New Music to Make You Happy, DIY Keyboard Stand to Make You Tidy

Shawn writes to let us know their newest release, soundtracks for everyday adventures, has arrived. It keeps the hypnotic, charming minimalism of past works, but to me, there’s a new maturity here both in the sound and writing, as the tunes become wordless, poignant ballads on day-to-day life. (“Buying strawberries” is oddly melancholy; “finding a leaf in your girlfriend’s hair” and “the best paper airplane ever” takes on some urgency. That airplane might inspire someone to become an engineer for Airbus.)

In the wrong hands, this kind of music could veer into “twee” sweetness, make your tooth ache, or even be cloying. But that’s why I love Lullatone’s work: it’s unpretentious, un-ironic, serious fun. It’s overwhelmingly, genuinely heartfelt.

And the duo are serious about keeping their life and happiness as high-quality as their output. Check out a feature on how they’ve integrated music in their “work/life” balance while parenting on the Herman Miller blog, going into greater depth on the ergonomics of their setup as we covered it earlier:
Ideal Live/Work Space: Shawn James Seymour and Yoshimi Tomida of Lullatone [Herman Miller Lifework blog]

That’s something I think we can all appreciate.

What’s also great is seeing their music inspire other joyous expressions, like this montage of laughter (seriously):

If you’re still grumpy, see a doctor.

And now, newly happy, I think us kids should be really good and go clean our studios so we can make some music.

  • vincent

    wonderful post, thanks! it's very rainy here in the netherlands but it doesn't matter anymore now.

  • good stuff. inspires me to clean my room. i would buy this if there was ever a vinyl release.

  • greg

    . . . didn't we hear this album the last time you posted about them?

  • Spazmatron

    This is the last album. Where can we hear the new one?

  • Peter Kirn

    Fixed! Link and player now point at the new album. sorry about that!

  • Lullatone played a show I set up about 10 years ago in Iowa, and he's always had that lovely major chord optimism to his work. Back then he was doing a set mostly of sine wave sounds.

    This was pre-Yoshimi, she seems to have added something to the mix.  I don't know her background but there's a whole continuum in japanese culture that celebrates neotony — from Kawaisa 可愛さ (cuteness, towards loveability) to a refined sort of yearning or Tristesse.

  • I'd love a Lullatone vinyl release also.  I always enjoy their music.  Nice stuff.

  • DDDD

    How is this "DIGITAL" music (i.e. create DIGITAL music). Please don't use the argument that it was recorded to computer, everything is these days (even country "music").

  • MarkSpenecer

    Love this. Almost seems like a score for a film. 

  • ideletemyself

    @DDDD … just because it's not House/Trance/Pants/Ants doesn't mean it can't be considered digital music… I mean, it's not really my cup o' tea either but I'm not going to slam it's merits musically, digitally or otherwise… And anyways it's Peter's site he can post whatever the hell he pleases, so there! lol… Lighten up peoples, sheez…

  • josh g.

    Some combination of catching up on Moderna's playlists plus listening through this fantastic album today inspired this little iMaschine music-sketch. I am no pro but somehow this came out kinda cute, so enjoy.

  • Clayton

    Well put! It's definitely a more mature album. While I miss the vocals, it's a great listen! 

  • Rymf

    Happy response: Lovely music, awesome pad, they seem like cool people doing cool things and raising a cool family.

    Grumpy response: If they were "gifted" that Aeron in return for writing a piece for the Hermann Miller blog, not indicating as much in the article would be illegal in the United States. I have no idea if there's a comparable statute in the Japanese law books, IANAL, blah blah blah

    Selfish response: I just bought a huge drafting table salvaged from the HBO animation department with a center panel I can raise to whichever angle is required to point my Maschine and Launchpad and other things at my face when I'm not writing code or interwebernetting. Now I need a drafting-height chair I can sit in for extended periods, so if anyone wants to gift me a sweet-ass custom SomaComfort chair I will totally blog the shit out of that shit.

  • Totally love their albums. Didigital or not!

    Actually I think it's great that CDM posts about music which is not strictly digital… we tend to loose context out of sight when we focus too much on the niece we are sitting in.

    So thanks again for posting this!

  • Peter Kirn

    I at one point suggested in last year's redesign that we drop the words in the title and go to the acronym CDM for that reason. I was roundly overruled slash told I was nuts.

    If the title is that important, though, it is available in large type for repeated and undisturbed readings and re-readings at the top of the screen, unsullied by the articles at the bottom.

  • Peter, thank you for the nice article about our new album! You are super nice!

    And, thanks for the comments everyone too. We are blushing!

    DDDD, although we tried to keep this album from being overly electronic, there are a lot of hidden digital trickeries hiding in the tracks (bass lines made from re-pitched samples of congas from old drum machines, generative melody patches adding variations in the background, and such). We totally understand your point though, and I am happy we hid those bits well enough to get that response from you. Mission accomplished! Thank you for having a listen.


    I really wish we got our chair for free!

    Unfortunately, it was self bought from a second-hand office supply store here in Nagoya. But, I'll keep my fingers crossed for a free Eames Lounge Chair one day. Day dreaming never hurts, right?

    OK, thanks again.

    No matter what you call it, CDM is awesome!

  • Rymf


    Incidentally, I'm still trying to figure out the proper incantation/dance/chalk drawing to cause an Eames Lounge to fall out of the sky myself.

    If I ever get it right I'll be sure to send one hurtling your way as well.

  • Thanks for this post Peter. The idea of merging one's living space and music is quite inspiring. I will try at my house. Hope my roommates don't mind microPhones in some strange places. 🙂 and lullitone's music was very charming and beautifully mixed. 

    Whole: Heart

  • Todd Fisher

    Great article! This was enough to have me check the album out on iTunes, which then within 10 seconds of listening to one track I immediately gifted the album to my girlfriend who lives out of state. I have to say that this is not the type of stuff that she would normally look for or buy, BUT the album is just too cheerful/sweet and I had to have her check it out. And then today it was rainy here in Nashville and I thought to myself, "I need a good mellow album for the drive in this am"…. so I bought it myself 🙂 Keep up the cool work!

  • Lullatone to me represents how subtle and beautiful "digital trickery" can be and how acoustic instruments can co-exist within that space. I've been a fan for years… I used to fall asleep to Little Songs About Raindrops and Bjork's Vespertine on continuous loop. I also would drop Computer Recital tracks in the middle of DJ sets. I love these guys.

  • Thanks for this !

    I made myself music a bit like that, using toys and other litttle acoustics instruments, special for chrismas 😉