Ginger Root - Shinbangumi [Colored Vinyl] | RECORD STORE DAY

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1. Welcome
2. No Problems
3. Better Than Monday
4. There Was A Time
5. All Night
6. CM
7. Only You
8. Kaze
9. Giddy Up 1
10. Think Cool 1
11. Show 10 1
12. Take Me Back (Owakare No Jikan)

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Step inside the world of Ginger Root. Cameron Lew makes it easy to do so; every considered detail is his own manifestation, written, designed, and executed as an all-encompassing diorama of sound and sight. A multi-instrumentalist, producer, songwriter, and visual artist from Southern California, Lew has crafted his project steadily since 2017, inviting a fervent and growing legion of fans into storylines drawn across mediums: captivating albums with accompanying films and globe-spanning tours. The Ginger Root sound - handmade yet immaculately polished synth-pop, alt-disco, boogie, and soul - takes shape through Lew's lens as an Asian-American growing up enamored by 1970s and '80s music, specifically the creative and cultural dialogue between Japanese City Pop and it's Western counterparts from French Pop to Philly Soul to Ram-era McCartney. He spins his retro-minded influences and proliferates savvily in the present, synthesizing a songwriter's wit, an editor's eye, and a producer's resource into something singular and modern. SHINBANGUMI, his long-awaited third LP, and Ghostly International debut set for physical release in 2024 with a visual album component, translates roughly to a new season of a show. It finds Lew more poised, idiosyncratic, and intentional than ever in a new chapter of life, unlocking "exactly what Ginger Root should sound and feel like," he says. "In terms of instrumentation and musicality, it's the first time that I felt very confident and comfortable with what everything should be comprised of. On the more personal side, I'm coming out of the last four years of writing, touring, and living as a different person; SHINBANGUMI is a platform to showcase my new self." In parallel with the songs and his real-life artist story, unfolding across the sequential music video series, Lew resumes the conceptual narrative from his 2022 EP Nisemono, which follows Ginger Root as a newly-fired music supervisor in 1987 starting his own media conglomerate, Ginger Root Productions. "If you watch music videos one through eight, you'll be presented with a story that's comparable to a traditional movie; something I've always wanted to do." Splitting sessions between locations in Japan and back in Orange County, Lew paid extra attention to SHINBANGUMI's track arrangement, tapping his close circle for input, including members of his live band and his longtime video collaborator, David Gutel. He sees the album's arc in multiple acts, mapping the chronological listen with "just the right amount of like front-end punch and then letting you breathe, then sending you even faster in the middle section, and so on... I wanted to grab you by the collar in a good way and then not let you go until the last song." What makes Ginger Root special is the project's ability to weave influence beyond pastiche into a bigger picture, exploring that rarified pop pleasure center where referential meets refreshing. "There Was A Time" honors the homespun melody-making of his favorite solo Beatle (early '70s Paul). Thinking about the song's utility within the overall sequence, like a scene break, Lew sought to write a lighter pop song. It doubles as the sweet wind-up for "All Night," a four-on-the-floor burner, a Ginger Root club cut albeit still with live instrumentation, inspired by his friend's seemingly endless night out in Paris. "This was my one attempt at writing a track that you can bump all night, but being the introvert that I am, I couldn't write it about me."