Adroit jazz guitar, prog rock fantasia, and Japanese environmental music all rest comfortably behind Leo Takami's Next Door. The follow up to the acclaimed Felis Catus & Silence, Next Door finds Takami ruminating on passages — of time, seasons, consciousness. Through music, Leo contemplates daily events and finds beauty in ordinary moments. He also seems to be questioning the value of being stuck in the world, allowing his mind to wander towards something beyond it. His music is earnest, deeply personal and introspective, and is sort of akin to Rousseau’s Reveries of the Solitary Walker or Kenji Miyazawa’s Night on the Galactic Railroad.
On “As If Listening” Takami takes inspiration from a Van Gogh art show organized chronologically, articulating the sense of “enlightened resignation” that is intrinsic in the act of creativity. “Beyond” is a dream of otherworldly nostalgia, a watercolor of past lives. His music is a hazy cinema of memory, the soundtrack to a cherished memory that may have never really happened, but still radiates in the mind like the sun on an unusually warm winter day.