26-05-2024 Music 190

Ginger Root - No Problems

Ginger Root - No Problems

Step inside the world of Ginger Root. Cameron Lew makes it easy to do so; every considered detail is his own manifestation, written, designed, and executed as an all-encompassing diorama of sound and sight. A multi-instrumentalist, producer, songwriter, and visual artist from Southern California, Lew has crafted his project steadily since 2017, inviting a fervent and growing legion of fans into storylines drawn across mediums: captivating albums with accompanying films and globe-spanning tours.

The Ginger Root sound — handmade yet immaculately polished synth-pop, alt-disco, boogie, and soul — takes shape through Lew's lens as an Asian-American growing up enamored by 1970s and '80s music, specifically the creative and cultural dialogue between Japanese City Pop and its Western counterparts from French Pop to Philly Soul to Ram-era McCartney. He spins his retro-minded influences and proliferates savvily in the present, synthesizng a songwriter's wit, an editor's eye, and a producer’s resource into something singular and modern.

Today, Ginger Root announces SHINBANGUMI, his long-awaited third LP, and first with Ghostly. The release — up for pre-order now on limited edition cloud vinyl with a 3D pop-out building insert, CD, and cassette — translates roughly to a new season of a show. It finds Lew more poised, idiosyncratic, and intentional than ever, unlocking "exactly what Ginger Root should sound and feel like," he says. "In terms of instrumentation and musicality, it's the first time that I felt very confident and comfortable with what everything should be comprised of. On the more personal side, I'm coming out of the last four years of writing, touring, and living as a different person; SHINBANGUMI is a platform to showcase my new self."

Lead single "No Problems" acts as the opening title sequence and a bridge to new terrain, with its singable basslines, swaggering guitar riffs, and clever keyboard hooks calling back to past fan favorites now with expanded scope. "All the sonic logos of Ginger Root are in this song," Lew says.

In parallel with the songs and his real-life artist story, unfolding across the sequential music video series, Lew resumes a conceptual narrative:

"The year is 1987 and Ginger Root has been on contract as a music supervisor for newly founded television network, Juban TV. That is, until he’s fired. Blindsided by such an event, Cameron takes matters into his own hands and starts his own media conglomerate: Ginger Root Productions. The question now is, what will they make?"

What makes Ginger Root special is the project's ability to weave influence beyond pastiche into a bigger picture, exploring that rarified pop pleasure center where referential meets refreshing. For the uninitiated, the Ginger Root YouTube channel is a rewarding space, along with his recent TikTok post reflecting on his 2021 single "Loretta" and overall journey to date.

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