Recommended Tracks: “The Afterglow”, “Colorblind”, “Last Minute Lover”
Artists You May Like: Jack Johnson, John Mayer, Mat Kearney
When Sean and Jamie Oshima, otherwise known as Oshima Brothers, started making music together, everything just clicked. Growing up, Jamie fostered a passion for music at a young age, playing different instruments and emotionally investing in music production. Later on, Sean found himself writing lyrics and melodies that suited the music Jamie was creating, and the two knew that they had something special together. Fans and supporters felt this special bond on the brothers’ self-titled debut album in 2016, which showcased the boys’ harmonizing abilities and their shared love for acoustic-based music. Deciding to branch out of the folk-rooted sound of that first album while still staying true to their original sound, Oshima Brothers have given us their sophomore effort, Dark Nights Golden Days.
In general, Dark Nights Golden Days is a reflective album that touches on memories of the past and issues of the present. The brothers get into the impact of global warming on the gentle “Burning Earth” and the strong hold technology has over us on “Put Your Phone Away,” finding clever ways to address these critical matters without being too preachy. We also hear about the devastating affairs of heartbreak on “Cadence,” which focuses on the closing of a relationship. Even though the relationship has ended, the feelings and thoughts of it remain. When it comes to fond recollections, however, “The Afterglow” is the most comprehensive. We hear about a more innocent time, when “we stayed up to the morning light / talking ‘bout the girls we like,” finding salvation amongst the friends and the laughs. In the end, we are reminded, “These days, we’re always living in the afterglow,” knowing that we will never get those simple moments back.
Still, there is a lot of love to be found throughout the project. On the jazz-infused “Mountain,” we are acquainted with the stress of putting trust in a new relationship. As much as you want to fully love and embrace this new person in your life, it can be scary. However, it can also be very rewarding, as we hear on “Wilderness.” Over gritty bass and playful fiddle, we are taken into the great outdoors, where we hear about the beauty of getting “ lost in the wilderness with you.” We very much understand the importance of communication and the power of connection on these love songs, especially on “Colorblind” and “Last Minute Lover,” where we find that even the smallest gestures can mean the world.
Outside the lyrics and various topics on the album, there is much to process musically. Fans will be able to pick up the warm folk sound that the brothers are known for, as it comes through in tracks like “Dance With Me” and “Goldmine.” However, Sean and Jamie also explore genres in the pop realm, as we hear on the joyful “Disco Down The Aisle.” There are even moments when the brothers give us pure instrumentals, as they do on the electric guitar-based “Whitefield” and the piano-driven “Journal No. 23.”
Overall, the songs on Dark Nights Golden Days live up to the sentiment of the album title. Oshima Brothers are able to express the beauty, the “gold,” that can be found in this life, whether it be through various people or places. At the same time, Sean and Jamie convey the “dark” that is also present, as certain people and places can bring disappointment. While 17 tracks is ambitious for an album, the brothers ensure that each held a different story or generated a new feeling, making for an accomplished and well-rounded sophomore effort.
You can listen to Dark Nights Golden Days on platforms like Spotify and Apple Music.