All posts by observantrecords

Two cover albums by Eponymous 4 arrive Oct. 2020

Eponymous 4 announced the release of two cover albums arriving Oct. 30, 2020. Shinkyoku Moratorium Nihongohan takes a karaoke approach to Japanese indie rock and pop music from the early 2000s. Shinkyoku Moratorium Eigoban imagines a series of songs covered by other artists — a post-rock Roberta Flack, a post-punk Bruce Robison, Janet Jackson as grunge.

The albums are preceded by two singles. “Hurt So Bad”, originally by Linda Ronstadt, arrives on Sept. 4, while “Be My Last” by Utada Hikaru arrives on Oct. 2.

It’s been a decade. Let’s see what’s in the vaults!

Observant Records was born out of impatience.

When I was growing up, I thought the only way to get my music heard by people other than me was to get signed to a record label. As active as the Hawaiian music scene may be, I knew my kind of writing would not play well in Honolulu clubs or radio.

So I waited till I graduated from college and moved to the Mainland to get a lay of the land. By the time that happened, creating your music in your own home became a viable option. As technology improved and an independent infrastructure became more accessible, the record label system seemed more trouble than it was worth.

I wanted to make music on my own and distribute it on my own. And I didn’t care that it didn’t sound entirely professional just yet. I wanted it out there now.

A stimulus check from the federal government kickstarted Observant Records, which I formed on my birthday in 2008.

enigmatics was the first release, and I optimistically pressed 100 copies. I still have 86 of them in my closet.

The label turned 10 years old in 2018, even though it hasn’t be entirely active all that time. But it’s a long-enough duration to produce an archive, one that seems worthy of retrospection.

Bandcamp made subscriptions available to artists, which I haven’t found occasion to use — till now. I’ll be making available the old Work Release Program releases, early versions of the albums now available. I might even find a few infant demos and studio experiments. These releases will be subscriber exclusives.

Visit the Bandcamp pages of Eponymous 4 and Empty Ensemble to subscribe and to access these new old recordings.

Eponymous 4 releases next album in 2018

Eponymous 4 announced the release of a new album. Originally scheduled for a September 2017 release, the album will now come out in 2018. Titled Travis, the album deals in part with the theme of escape and overcoming obstacles that prevent it. Here’s the track listing:

[Eponymous 4 - Travis]
  1. Prelude: The Travis Lament
  2. Timekeeper
  3. August
  4. I Want to Follow
  5. Another Fiction
  6. ||: :|| (Repeat Signs)
  7. 世界の終わり (Sekai no Owari)
  8. Surplus
  9. The Man Who Stopped the World From Falling
  10. West
  11. Interlude: The Travis Reel
  12. Useless

Empty Ensemble releases an EP and full-length album in 2016

Empty Ensemble officially announced the release of Gakusei and 「弦楽四重奏曲其の一」. Gakusei arrives on May 28, 2016 with 「弦楽四重奏曲其の一」 following on Oct. 28, 2016. Both titles will be available through the Empty Ensemble Shop on Bandcamp. Here’s the track listing for both titles:

[Empty Ensemble - Gakusei]


  1. String Quartet No. 1: I. Allegro
  2. String Quartet No. 1: II. Adagio
  3. String Quartet No. 1: III. Allegro (reprise)
  4. Palomino
  5. Three Prayers in Irish Gaelic: I. Ar nÁthair
  6. Three Prayers in Irish Gaelic: II. Naomh Mhurie
  7. Three Prayers in Irish Gaelic: III. Glóir don Athair; Amen
  8. Disintegrating Jig

[Empty Ensemble - 弦楽四重奏曲其の一]


  1.  弦楽四重奏曲其の一一番
  2. 弦楽四重奏曲其の一二番
  3. 弦楽四重奏曲其の一三番
  4. 弦楽四重奏曲其の一四番
  5. 弦楽四重奏曲其の一五番
  6. 弦楽四重奏曲其の一六番
  7. 弦楽四重奏曲其の一七番
  8. 弦楽四重奏曲其の一八番
  9. 弦楽四重奏曲其の一九番
  10. Soliloquy of a Vampire


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