From Ging Nang Boyz and andymori to Gorillaz and The Doors,Tokyo-based rock band Cody・Lee (李) sketches out a trail of musical memories.
A natural by-product of Cody・Lee (李) [Lee] being a five-member band is that nearly all of the group’s music has certain vivid, lush depth to it. Open with their pop rock intentions, the Tokyo-based quintet still manages to muster muscular volume, using their combined powers to project a kind of raucous, shoegaze-esque euphoria.
Having formed at university in 2018, Cody・Lee (李) quickly released Shitibōizu on za ran [Cityboys On The Run], an EP of pretty, melodious anthems. In 2020 they developed upon that with their full-length debut Seikatsu no nyūsu [Life News] – an even comelier work, this time more confident in its heightened instrumental dramatics and stylistic sprawl.
The singles for new record (and major label debut) Shinpaku-sū to ravuretā, soreto yasashisa [Heartbeat, Love Letter and Kindness] have seen Cody・Lee (李) cement a reputation for stylistic breadth and rapturous prettiness. While perhaps entertaining a slightly groovier and more sensual shift, much of the band’s core appeal – the interplay of dual vocalists Takahashi and Ozaki, the openly skyward melodies, the quintet’s sonic richness – remains the same.
To celebrate the release of Cody・Lee (李)’s new album Shinpaku-sū to ravuretā, soreto yasashisa, which is out today (May 25 – listen to it on Spotify and Apple Music), the band curated a playlist for The Glow. Below they sketch out some of their key musical memories – and the songs that spurred them.
In the winter of my third year of junior high school, I performed this song in front of the whole school (in a covers band). I could never forget the fun of that time, and my dreams of becoming a musician. “Yoakeno Beat” is the song that started it all.
In the spring of my third year of high school, I saw Ging Nang Boyz at a festival I went to with a girl. Since I was still in high school, I had a curfew and needed to leave early to get home in time. Therefore, I had to leave in the middle of Ging Nang Boyz, and this song played as I was running towards the bus.
In the spring of my third year of junior high school, I really wanted to see andymori, so I skipped the sports festival and went with my friends to a festival where they were performing. When “Kakumei” [Revolution] started, the audience got really passionate and my friends and I started to get squashed together and gradually drifted apart. But it was a lot of fun and I still remember it vividly.
When I was over 20 years old and used to smoking, I went to a Ichiro Yoshida Untouchable World concert. At the time I had no money and was reluctant to quit smoking, but when “Ankyo” [Culvert] started and the lyrics “Yame kake teta tabako ni hi o tsukete shimau” [“I was about to quit, I light a cigarette”] came on, I was given a cigarette and smoked it. The lyrics and the situation at the time are linked and remain in my memory.
Also when I was in the third year of junior high school, I was part of kind of committee called the ‘public relations committee’. Our main activity was to play requested music during lunch time. At the time, I was listening to Michelle all the time, so I locked myself in the broadcast room and played this “G.W.D.” song on blast. The teacher started banging on the door, shouting “open up!”, and at that moment I felt like I understood rock music a little bit better.
Before starting Cody・Lee (李), I was listening to various home recording artists. It was in this context that I came to LOWPOPLTD. I got interested in home recording because I could feel a different kind of energy from it than that of a band. So this is an important song that became one of the reasons for me to start Cody・Lee (李).
I have been listening to Nana Mori's “Smile” for the past year or so to help me get through difficult times. When I see Nana Mori's carefree smile, I naturally smile too. She is an angel who has landed in today's hard-living society.
My mother was a music lover and particularly liked to listen to Gorillaz. Before I was born, she was listening to Gorillaz throughout prenatal care. I don't know if that's why, but I still feel very comfortable listening to it.
My father also loved music, especially Jim Morrison of The Doors. I could always hear The Doors or Eric Clapton from my father's room. So I still listen to them and feel nostalgic.