Floating World by Anathallo

Floating World by Anathallo, 2007, Artist Friendship

by Anathallo

When Anathallo vocalist Matt Joynt discovered “Hanasakajijii,” a Japanese folk tale about a dog who gives great fortune to his owner, he was not immediately impressed. In time, however, the story became the inspiration for Anathallo’s newest album, Floating World.

The band began in their hometown of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, deriving their name from a Greek word meaning “to renew, refresh or bloom again.” Their sound has transformed from punk to a blend of folk and indie rock with a surprising array of instruments.

Floating World is Anathallo’s first full-length album, though they have released several EP’s. It is a concept album, meaning all songs are connected by one theme. The theme of Floating World is built around the Japanese tale and touched with Christian overtones.

Some of the best songs of the album are the most unusual. “Hoodwink” begins softly before breaking into a chorus of horns and later a polyrhythm of drums and stomping. “Dokkoise House” begins with xylophone, the sound of a baseball card in bicycle spokes, and clapping. “Dokkoise House” and the last song of the album, “Kasa No Hone (The Umbrella’s Bones)” are both poems from a collection called Japanese Peasant Songs. The backbone of the album “Hanasakajijii” is told in four parts, each a separate song.

The Christian listener will notice several Scripture references, as well as Christian themes. “Genessaret” is inspired by the story of Jesus’ disciples and the storm they endured on the Sea of Galilee. “By Number” contains Psalm 139:5 in Japanese.

Floating World is a joy to listen to, and the Christian listener will enjoy the lyrics. Anathallo’s unique blend of folk and indie rock is unexpected but genius. Five stars!

-Brooke Condolora


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