Appearing at Bahamas Fest in Tokyo last year, Atlantis Airport vocalist Sonezaki shared her thoughts on being selected for the Fecking Bahamas Japan Compilation as somewhat of a surprise, given their perceived lack of association with the math rock scene. The premiere of a brand new song was then prefaced by saying it had been written with a conscious effort to achieve a “math rock” sound in mind.
Fast forward a few months, and that song opens a new record they proudly label as “hybrid airport-style math pop”. “Hikari to Kage no Aida” (Between Light and Shadow) starts off a [ 360° ] Cosmic Flight with vigor; catchy pop melodies are juxtaposed with ambitious song structure, intricate syncopation and even a full musical quote from Yes‘ “Siberian Khatru” (if there was any doubt as to the prog influence on keyboardist and main-songwriter Yoden).
On this album Atlantis Airport continues their previous EP’s winning formula, combining percussive piano lines rife with rhythmic delay effects, with Sonezaki’s beautiful and powerful voice. Though the official addition of a guest guitarist has modified this method slightly, its presence is mostly of a subdued nature. This means the bass guitar continues to shine, and the retention of the crisp and well-groomed production means their unique soundscapes are intact.
There’s something of a paucity of mathy bands with piano as the lead instrument, and if one adds vocals as a factor, Atlantis Airport exist in very small niche within the umbrella of math rock. So if you don’t mind a more pop approach (with a healthy dose of bombast) then by all means check these guys out and you’ll understand why they were a starring act at Bahamas Fest and why we’re hyped to see if they can up the ante on their next mathematically-infused release.