Video Premiere: Tomo Nakayama – Fourth of Julivar's

Local Music, KEXP Premiere
Dusty Henry
Photo by Bebe Labree Besch

There's something about Tomo Nakayama's voice that feels like an old friend. The Seattle singer-songwriter doesn't just sound great, that's undeniable, but the way he softly sings is comforting — especially paired with his wistful, floating finger-picking. In the music video for "Fourth of Julivar's", off his upcoming LP Pieces of Sky, Nakayama doesn't just hear those ideas but gives us an equally nostalgic visual companion.

The video finds whimsy and romance in the quietness of everyday life. Set in the stillness of a dark Fourth of July night, we watch as two sets of would-be couples search for connection amidst the holiday. Nakayama gives a particularly moving performance, not as a musician but as an actor. Fiddling with a Nerf gun, shooting foam bullets at his television screen, we follow him as he musters the courage to step out of his home, donning a suit reminiscent of Elliott Smith's in the "Miss Misery" video. Meanwhile, a skateboarder and a bicyclist silently meet at a skate park while trying to escape their own unspoken drama.

With the melancholic backdrop of fireworks in the background and excellent direction from Tony Fulgham, "Fourth of Julivar's" creates a stunning, heart-warming snapshot of reaching out for love despite whatever is holding you down. Here's what Nakayama has to say about the production of the video:

"Fourth of Julivar's" is one of my favorite tracks on Pieces of Sky, and I think director Tony Fulgham did a beautiful job evoking the song's mood, and the feeling of longing and falling in love. We had a great time shooting all night until 4:30 AM with an amazing cast and crew, and I'm especially proud of Carrie Robinson's gorgeous cinematography. The skateboarding/biking scenes are almost like a modern dance piece. This was the first time I got to do a little "acting" in front of the camera since working on Touchy Feely, and it was nerve wracking but I had a lot of fun."
Pieces of Sky is out September 8th via Ricebelly Music. Check out the "Fourth of Julivar's" video below. You can next catch Nakayama at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center on Saturday, September 9th.

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