Arita, Japan, is an otherworldly place.
An ancient village that last experienced an economic and cultural boom 300-400 years ago, Arita is now almost a ghost town, littered with old abandoned houses and overgrown with peace blossoms and Japanese maple trees. It’s a quiet, tranquil and contemplative place to be. It’s also the place where Last Dinosaurs decided to escape to to write their next album.
In early 2017, Last Dinosaurs packed what was essentially a mini studio (one mic, one interface, speakers, a computer and a few instruments) and travelled to the isolated town of Arita. The band’s principal songwriters, Sean and Lachlan Caskey, are of Japanese heritage, so in some ways this was a pilgrimage the two decided to take in the aftermath of releasing their last record, Wellness. And yet once there, it dawned on them quickly that the place itself was completely foreign.
“We went there to seek isolation,” explains Sean. “Somewhere very regional, very quiet. We wanted to feel like real outsiders in a place for some reason. Often, we don’t feel like we really belong in Brisbane or Australia musically (even though we love being a Brisbane band), but wanted to record somewhere where that isolation could be felt everywhere, all the time, so we could properly capture it.”
“This album has been a lot about revisiting our roots in every way,” says Sean.
Expanding horizons and going back to basics. They’re not exactly the latest new craze when it comes to artists rediscovering themselves, but it was these simplest of concepts, alongside the two defining environments of Arita and California, that would go on to be the biggest influences on Yumeno Garden. And collectively, the band are brimming with anticipation at sharing their discoveries with the world.