Cherry Blossom Trees is a lullaby love song to Japan by Leafy Satori Risk. It’s a cool blues/soft jazz song with an echo of folk that blends into a song that evokes a passionate and beautiful Spring romance.
The singer/songwriters Iris and Karl of Leafy Satori Risk both hail from Vienna, but have settled in France, Berlin, New Mexico and then finally in Los Angles. However, their hearts are forever in Tokyo where they spend two months of every year, and where many of their live shows are performed.
Both artists are creative by nature, both working in the film industry when they’re not performing in their band: Iris Karina is an actress and Karl Lohninger is a sound mixer and sound designer.
Inspired by the travelling duo’s dream of experiencing the bloom of cherry blossom trees, this dreamy song reflects on goals that may never be achieved.
Cherry Blossom Trees is a slow-tempo song about, perhaps, being shrouded in desire and aspiration. Just like the floating petals, the writer’s dreams are beautiful and bold, yet barely tangible. The showers of pink petals summons a scene of a soft, pink-hued world. Maybe we’re looking through rose-tinted glasses.
The lyrics describe tides of pink cherry blossom petals that rain down on to the palms of your hand. This imagery makes me think of opportunities that land in the palm of your hand, and it’s up to you to seize them, or ‘wait for the tide to turn’.
Stretch out your arms,
And watch them land on your palms,
We could drown in a sea of flowers if you want,
Or we could wait for the tide to turn.
It’s the theme of love and loss represented by the provocative saxophone and strong male vocals (reminding me of Barry White’s romantic ballads), and the breathy female vocals echoing softly-spoken French love songs.
These combinations of emotive genres and tones creates imagery within itself of a lost or unattainable love. Whether it be someone, something or some place that can not be reached. Judging by the soft strumming of the guitar and gentle hum or purr of the saxophone, I get the sense that as strong as this longing is, it’s been accepted that it may never be achieved.
My love why – why don’t you stay close to me,
The air is cool,
The light is strong,
And spring is near.
With inverted colours, the music video for Cherry Blossom Tree evokes a dream-like state as the singer wanders leisurely and reflectively through Japan. The video was shot by Karl Lohninger inside the Inokashira Park in Kichijoji and at the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo.
The video, although simple, reflects the melancholic subject matter. Combined, the song and images articulate and engage so much emotion while saying so little. Therefore, you can read and interpret so much into it, which I like. Perhaps partly because of the musicians’ multi-cultural influences, every listener can find a new angle and meaning for it.