Category Archives: Music @ja

New Cubismo Grafico: “World Is Yours”

Cubismo Grafico has gotten reflective plenty of times in the past, but this new cut is especially rich in ennui. It’s a slow stroll of a song featuring some looped samples (lending this some “Shibuya-kei in the twilight” vibe) and sung in…French, at times. Perfect for an end-of-the-day beer. Listen below.

New Diane Halls: “A Pain That Is Felt”

Diane Halls don’t release too much, but when they pop back up on the radar, it’s always with something pretty solid. “A Pain That Is Felt” offers a pretty good hint of its mood from the title alone – its a guitar-centric drifter featuring very, very little vocals (the ones that do show up mumble deep in the haze), relying instead on the cloudy but ultimately focused guitar work. If you wish Real Estate just made instrumentals, here’s a keeper. Hopefully, more pops up from them soon. Listen below.

New Traffic Light: Clocks

Indie-pop outfit Traffic Light have a new two-song set out, highlighted by the Sunday-morning-church-session-turned-pop-hop-a-long “Clocks.” It is a solid bit of indie-pop, though the most interesting element are the lyrics, which mention Jesus and actually seem to be commenting on the Holy Trinity one a little bit. There seems to be more going on…but that’s the most striking thing. It’s finished off by the sweet, prom-night-read “Just More Close To Me.” Get it here, or listen below.

New The Paellas: “Golden Eye”

Osaka’s The Paellas have sounded like a lot of things in the past – a dreary-eyed lot playing sad lounges, aggressive indie-poppers, shadow dwellers. Yet on new song “Golden Eye” they sound incredibly…smooth. This easy-going cut still contains the slight muffled vibe that has always given them a mysterious, late-night edge…the vocals still sound like they are coming from a decades-old stereo…but now the band just sound incredibly laid back (listen to his voice). Listen below.

Programming Note: Make Believe Melodies is going to America next week! Posts might be a bit more infrequent, though if anything big/great catches our attention, I shall try my best to share it with you!

New Akoustik Shadow: Cross Over

How do you go about establishing yourself in a music environment packed in tight? There are lots of electronic music producers scattered across Japan now, and standing out isn’t an easy task. Akoustik Shadow, on new album Cross Over, decided the best way to approach this tricky situation was…try out a bunch of different sounds. The result is an album that has its messy moments, but is overall a compelling listen, and offers hints at the best directions he might go.

Cross Over’s strongest moments are its least tangible – in particular, the first three songs here are weightless, practically drifting dreamy productions featuring a smattering of acoustic guitar. “Morning Coffee” is sweet, but more of an introduction to the bird-filled “Sanctuary,” which lingers longer into the eyes-on-the-stars “Take A Walk.” Beats become more prominent as Cross Over unfolds, sounding great on the zippy “Touch” and the sugary “Spangle,” not so great on the stab at Juke “Bootlex” (the album’s only real miss. The album also includes a healthy amount of remixes from producers all across the country. Get it here, or listen below.