Band members Emily Smart and Hamish Cox hail from Adelaide. Two bright sparks, long-term pals who share a passion. Inspired by early electro-pop, their sound is synth-heavy, with customary bassy beats. With a blend of pensive, resonating and razor-sharp tones, successfully resurrecting electro-pop from the revered 80's. Nakatomi's works are euphonic. Easy to appreciate. And the sombre subject matter presented in bright, dazzling neon, works very well. While their themes aren't blissful and blithe, they're 'human' (rather than fluff about minutia). That is, textured, real-life, down-to-earth.
When I interviewed Nakatomi's Hamish Cox (synth guru), I was sneakily sussing out his and Emily's 'magic potion'. As, from what I've discovered, there's always things that differentiate successful bands/musicians. Nakatomi, bearing several obvious ones:
I) Great working relationship:
The duo's friendship/mutual respect means they work well together. Routine rehearsals at a local studio, not only skill-building sessions, but team-building. Which, by enabling them to bounce ideas and openly 'yay or nay', facilitating the creative process.
Keeping it simple ain't stupid. In fact, hallmark of many pop classics. Making it too abstract can detract. Fortunately, Nakatomi are aware. Honest lyrics, clear themes, easy to follow. For instance, (very catchy new) single "The Knife" - candid description of mourning. And the Blade Runner/Terminator 1 imagery of the clip reinforcing. It's not just lyrics though. For instance, band's name - throwback to Die Hard. Upon quizzing Hamish as to why? "We just love Die Hard". And "The Knife"? Cutlery beside Hamish's breakfast muffin. Okay, kind of funny. But not stupid. Or lazy. Rather, about employing reality. Thus ensuring it remains within the realm of relatability.
Onstage presence? Nothing short of awesome. By connecting to underlying emotions, Vocalist Emily commits herself. What's more, by being 'in the zone' their audience is more readily switched on. Check out a snippet from the 2015 Futuresounds Festival to see for yourself.
Speaking with Hamish, there's a clear lack of pretentiousness (my interview with Hamish). He's not an egoist or know-it-all. Just humble - which is pleasantly disarming. And successful artists have to be likeable. And to be likeable, heart in the right place. Many don't. Their fans, merely a market. However, fans can tell. That is, whether creators are jibbing them or being upfront. Fact Nakatomi maintain a 'very responsive' Facebook page, speaking volumes in this regard.