Free Jazz and African music with a slice of electric psychedelia, Meet – Yama Warashi


I’ve never heard anything like this before, what a wicked combination of sounds, I highly recommend that all of you give this a serious listen to. So cool….

On November 11th Stolen Body Records released Yama Warashi’s debut album ‘MOON EGG’. It will be pressed on a very limited edition run of 100 12” half gold, half blue vinyl with a comic book made by Yoshino Shigihara and 200 gold 12”. It will also be released digitally, on CD and on cassette.

Moon Egg is about delusion and hope. We all dream about something and sometimes we dream a bit too much and it can become reality in our mind. Sometimes we realize that we all believe something that is a complete fantasy. But also feeling and believing something exciting and juicy is a great and magical feeling. ‘MOON EGG’ is about this magic, dreams, delusion and hope.

Yama Warashi was formed by Bristol-based Japanese artist Yoshino Shigihara.

Yama Warashi (山童) means a small child-like spirit which lives in the mountains.

Her music has a dreamy evocative sound with a shadow of moon cake, inspired by Japanese folk dance music, Bon Odori (盆踊り), free jazz and African music with a slice of electric psychedelia. She sings in her mother tongue as well as in English. Songs are about mycelium, nuclear power stations and the tangled relationships of humans, nature and moon phases.

Lead Single ‘Quagmire Moon’ is about the moon getting annoyed with smoke from the chimney which is also making it feel a bit strange. She used Japanese bon dance rhythm and has taken some lyrics from a traditional Japanese song to recreate a danceable groove.

The eclectic band members are all from exciting Bristol music collective ‘BLOOM’ . Conrad Singh (Cloudshoes/The Evil Usses) on Guitar, Dan Truen (The Evil Usses) on Drums, Graeme Smith (Dubi Dolkzeck/Count Bobo) on Sax, Lewis Fitzjohn (Dubi Dolkzeck) on bass and Lorenzo Pratti (The Evil Usses/Tezeta) on Sax.

Yama Warashi self released their debut EP ‘MOON ZERO’ at the beginning of the year. Both this EP and ‘MOON EGG’ were recorded at the cellar tapes U.K in Bristol by Benjamin Whitehouse and produced by Bristol legend Sam Wisternoff a.k.a SJ Esau.

Meet – Yama Warashi

For those unfamiliar with your music, can you can you give us a little of your back history?

Yama Warashi started playing as a band in Oct 2015. I was playing in a band call ‘Zun Zun Egui’ for about 10 years before. I started making my own songs about 2013 but ZZE was busy so i only did couple of shows of my own stuff. It’s started as 3 piece with Graeme on Sax, Lewis on Bass and me on keys. Then gradually get members from my favourite band ‘The Evil Usses’ to join. Now we are 5 to 7 piece band.
Yama Warashi’s one of the early show was at ‘Sanctum’ event in Bristol- it was exciting place- bombed church was turn into 24 hour music venue for about month and half. It was really great.

2) Who would you list as your musical influence?

Bon Odori is Japanese folk dance music. Every summer we would go to this Bon festival to dance around the fort. There are taiko drummers and percussionist playing in the fort. Really lovely groove.

Also I am really into Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders. I love the beautiful melodies played on harp and sax with loads of bells and percussions.

I learned some african rhythm when i was in Zun Zun Egui since the band leader was from Mauritius and the band used lots of African rhythms. Got to know some good artists like

For Japanese artist I love Boredoms. They were making noise in 80’s and moved onto kind of spiritual drumming music. So great.

3) What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you since you started up?

I find really lucky to have all these really great and lovely bandmates and meeting great people constantly. That’s the coolest thing!

4) What are your hopes and dreams as a musician for the next few years?

I would like to keep writing new songs, make more albums and touring. Would be great to play in a place i never been too.

5) What are some of your favorite albums from the past few years?

Richard Dawson – Nothing Important
FOUNTAINSUN- Fountainsun
Cloudshoes- tunnel in the sky
Dubi Dolkzek- Dubi Dokzek & The Haunted Lagoon
The Evil Usses – The Evil Usses

6) Do you see any real use for social media, or is it all just a pain in the ass to keep with?

I find it’s really useful to connect people, I find many gigs for tour by asking on FB. I find really useful and people are very kind and happy to help on social media.

7) Do you pay attention to reviews or comments from people about your music or do you just turn that noise off?

I am keen to read our reviews and knowing what people thinks about our music. If it’s positive, it’s great, if it’s negative, we can learn things from there… very useful i find.

? If you could tour anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?

I would love to tour in Japan which i never done before even i’m from there…!

9) Can music save the mortal soul or is just a good backbeat to your life?

I do believe that music can save our soul! I have been moved, inspired, affected by all kind of music with positive way. Music has got an amazing power to make people feel happy, motivated, and sharing ideas and messages.

10) Any last thoughts for your fans?

If you like our music, thank you! Please come to talk to us at the gig. Would be lovely to meet you.

Thank you,

Yama Warashi – Facebook



About author View all posts


Co-founder of 50thirdand3rd, stepped away to spend time with family and write. From Pittsburgh, now in Florida, Cool Canadian artist wife, 4 great kids, and two granddaughters!! I'm a lucky guy!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.