Tomo Nakayama is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and composer.
Tomo Nakayama is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and composer. Courtesy of Tomo Nakayama

Good morning. It's Thursday, April 16, and everything continues to be bleak and strange, but mixed in with all the bleakness and strangeness, there is also beauty.

The music of Tomo Nakayama makes us happy to be alive. "I know everybody's having a tough time right now, and the troubles of the world can seem immense and overwhelming," Tomo says. "I hope this song can help you."

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The song is "Roscoe (What a Gift)," which he recorded with his old band Grand Hallway. Put on headphones and disappear into it:

The filmmaker Lynn Shelton once said about Tomo: "It was like the most transcendent experience I’ve had in a live music situation. Literally, at the time, I thought to myself, 'That voice in this space has to go into one of my movies.'" Which is how Tomo ended up writing music for Touchy Feely. He also turns in the most powerful performance in the film, even though the other people in it include Ellen Page and Allison Janney.

Tomo's latest album Melonday came out on April 7. You can buy it here or even buy it on vinyl. The merch table's over here.

That voice!
That voice.

Born in Japan and raised in Seattle, Tomo is an artist whose melodic, complex, and emotionally compelling music has been praised by everyone from NPR to the New York Times.

You can listen to more of his music here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here.

What, you only like Christmas music? You're in luck.

You can follow Tomo on Twitter here and Instagram here.

Thank you for your message, Tomo, and for making so much beautiful work.

We are awestruck by your gifts.

Good luck today, everyone.


* *

Previously in this series:


Heather McHughs message to the city on April 14.
Heather McHugh's message to the city on April 14.

Brandon ONeills message to the city on April 13.
Brandon O'Neill's message to the city on April 13.

Kate Wallichs message to the city on April 12.
Kate Wallich's message to the city on April 12.

Rebecca Browns message to the city on April 11.
Rebecca Brown's message to the city on April 11.

Lucien Postlewaites message to the city on April 10.
Lucien Postlewaite's message to the city on April 10.

Betty Wetters message to the city on April 9.
Betty Wetter's message to the city on April 9.

Amanda Morgans message to the city on April 8.
Amanda Morgan's message to the city on April 8.

Nancy Guppys message to the city on April 7.
Nancy Guppy's message to the city on April 7.

Jonathan Bisss message to the city on April 6.
Jonathan Biss's message to the city on April 6.

Chris Jeffriess message to the city on April 5.
Chris Jeffries's message to the city on April 5.

Lesley Hazletons message to the city on April 4.
Lesley Hazleton's message to the city on April 4.

John Rodericks message to the city on April 3.
John Roderick's message to the city on April 3.

Bill Cartys message to the city on April 2.
Bill Carty's message to the city on April 2.

Price Suddarths message to the city on April 1.
Price Suddarth's message to the city on April 1.

Kary Waysons message to the city on March 31.
Kary Wayson's message to the city on March 31.

Ellen Forneys message to the city on March 30.
Ellen Forney's message to the city on March 30.

Major Scaless message to the city on March 29.
Major Scales's message to the city on March 29.

E. J. Kohs message to the city on March 28.
E. J. Koh's message to the city on March 28.

Ken Jenningss message to the city on March 27.
Ken Jennings's message to the city on March 27.

Demarre McGills message to the city on March 26.
Demarre McGill's message to the city on March 26.

Lynn Sheltons Message to the City on March 25th.
Lynn Shelton's Message to the City on March 25th.

Timothy White Eagles message to the city on March 24.
Timothy White Eagle's message to the city on March 24.

Cookie Coutures message to the city on March 23.
Cookie Couture's message to the city on March 23.

Sarah Rudinoffs message to the city on March 22.
Sarah Rudinoff's message to the city on March 22.

John Osebolds message to the city on March 21.
John Osebold's message to the city on March 21.


Ben Gibbards message to the city on March 21.
Ben Gibbard's message to the city on March 20.

Nathan Chans message to the city on March 19.
Nathan Chan's message to the city on March 19.