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***CHECK STOCK!!! Received a 7.4 rating from Pitchfork. SHINTARO SAKAMOTO begins a new and perhaps unexpected chapter in his storied career with the release of his debut solo album, the otherworldly folkpop masterpiece How to Live with a Phantom. For over two decades Sakamoto was the frontman and leader of Japanese psychedelic phenomenon YURA YURA TEIKOKU. Immediately following Yura Yura Teikoku’s break-up in 2010, Sakamoto began recording as a solo artist—truly solo, he plays all the instruments here save percussion and woodwinds—and after more than a year holed up in his home studio, How to Live with a Phantom was born. The resulting album is a bold stylistic departure, even for an artist whose career has been defined by them. It is a single-minded exploration of the sounds of 1970s radio pop from around the globe, combining American folk-rock and the evocative Japanese pop music that was influenced by it, but simultaneously referencing everything from French pop to Afro-funk, tropicalia, Krautrock and the lighter side of psychedelia. Most of the songs are built around Sakamoto’s hypnotic electric-bass grooves (he learned to play for these recordings), a crisp drum set and bubbling percussion, layered with dreamy guitars and vintage synthesizers, and topped by meticulously arranged female vocal harmonies, horns, and Sakamoto’s own languid yet deeply expressive lead vocals. It’s a set that’s both sundrenched and full of melancholy, and while the musical references and inspirations may be clear, How to Live with a Phantom is a wholly original album that will connect to a broad spectrum of listeners—from folk and pop aficionados to world music fans, psych-heads and many more.