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New Tentenko: “Nantonaku Abunai”

Tentenko presents a dilemma. She’s one of the most prolific artists of this decade, releasing CD-R after CD-R of songs skipping across all kinds of genres — she experimented with juke recently, what the hell! But also, hell yeah! — and genuinely going off in whatever direction she wants to. She has one perfect song that also turned out to be ahead of its time, and there is the whole “was part of the idol group that ended up having the biggest influence, for better or worse, on that scene in the back half of the 2010s” thing. She’s also eyed something bigger, signing with Toy’s Factory and putting out more mainstream-leaning songs to that end. There’s a lot to sift through, but oftentimes she feels stuck between stations. I think this Arama post from earlier this year captures it just right.

I’m intrigued, then, by her newest EP, out today. It seemingly builds on her first Toy’s Factory release by having her navigate other artist’s sounds — just look at the line-up on the first one — but pairs her with younger producers such as Emerald Four and Pellycolo, which are just outside (but not too far removed) of her ’80s space. “Nantonaku Abunai” doesn’t fit that mold. It gets assistance from Shintaro Sakamoto, and his lonely take on lounge music fits Tentenko’s voice well. It’s a solid song from an artist happy to slide all over the place. I think it’s also a good step forward towards potential bigger attention…if that’s what she wants. If she does, experiments like this seem like a good fit. Listen above.

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