The second album from UK/Japanese group Smile Down Upon Us is released by wiaiwya on deluxe vinyl, in a delightful gatefold sleeve illustrated by artist Yuji Maruyama, on Record Store Day, April 18 (a CD version is released in Japan soon after). It’s a delicate, intimate, playful record that’s equal parts Cibo Matto pop, Vernon Elliott soundtrack and animated Marc Chagall painting, its music a perfect navigation between childlike wonderment, impish eccentricity and sophisticated intricacy.
Smile Down Upon Us is the duo of London-based multi-instrumentalist Keiron Phelan (littlebow, Phelan-Sheppard, Silver Servants, etc.) and Tokyo-resident singer/electronicist moomLoo. They are assisted on this album by, among others, guitarist/percussionist David Sheppard (Ellis Island Sound, Snow Palms, and Keiron’s erstwhile partner in renowned UK post-rockers State River Widening), cellist Katie English (Isnaj Dui, Doomed Bird of Providence, littlebow) and nomadic sonic alchemist Tui (Orla Wren).
The insanely catchy “Millwall” is about a Japanese girl-gang who live in London and become unlikely football hooligans (while claiming they are no such thing).
The track is also featured as current “single of the week” of the radio show L’Attimo Fuggente.