Paying tribute to legendary Japanese band Fishmans, Philly indie five-piece Pine Barons just released an ethereal cover of “ナイトクルージング (Night Cruising)”. This comes with the announcement of Pine Barons’ LP I LOVE FISH, a tribute to Fishmans, coming out July 8 on Grind Select.
The nine-track LP features many classic Fishmans tracks — such as the 30-minute epic “LONG SEASON,” which has allegedly never been attempted as a cover. The project came about during the recording of Pine Barons’ last album Mirage on the Meadow when frontperson Keith Abrams discovered the band’s dreamy and atmospheric music. With the help of a friend, Abrams came up with an English interpretation of some of the songs. Wishing to make the record, Pine Barons got the blessing from Fishmans frontperson Shinji Sato’s copyright successor. Sato unfortunately passed away in March of 1999 shortly after the legendary final concert turned live album, 98.12.28 Otokotachi no Wakare.
Pine Barons opted to translate the lyrics into English for the record. “ナイトクルージング (Night Cruising)” was one of the first songs they put together, and was one of the easier songs to translate into English, according to a press release, where Abrams said “It was a popular song for Fishmans when it first came out, and I wanted to stay true to its dreaminess and to have it build upon itself and crescendo into a blissful end.”
The accompanying music video is a comforting fever dream of grainy abstract visuals mainly featuring Abrams driving, with aquatic images superimposed out his window. Their cover and music video show the potential that I LOVE FISH has. There is an odd phenomenon with bands where covers are the origin of many band’s early days, and then it becomes lame to do covers, but it circles back around to where covers are a treat and something to look forward to, because you now inject your own style into the songs you love and create something almost completely new.
Pine Barons does just that here. Check out the music video for “ナイトクルージング (Night Cruising)” below, and catch Pine Barons on Thursday May 19th, when they will be playing the entirety of their 2020 record Mirage on the Meadow at PhilaMOCA with support from Fast Car Slow Car and Puppy Angst.