New Boyish: “Sketchbook”

Ahhhhh, feel that crispness in the air? It’s an indie-pop autumn, alright. And one of Tokyo’s finest twee-leaning outfits around, Boyish, have a new album out on Dead Funny Records next month. “Sketchbook,” above, is the first taste of Sketch For 8000 Days Of Moratorium (!!!!) and it is a longer-than-usual look at how they are approaching their latest album.

Hear Two New Songs From The Paellas

They are technically in the “demo” phase of existence, but few bands can pique this blog’s interest even with sketches like Osaka’s The Paellas. At their best, the band capture a special kind of nocturnal longing, taking the often-static sounds of indie-pop and turning it into heartfelt music seemingly coming out of an alley or a really depressing lounge. Their first demo, “Hodon,” thumps while the vocals trip over themselves, trying to reach somebody who sounds far gone. It’s a slow burner stuffed with drama. Listen above.

The other one is a bit more compact, clocking in at half the time of the above track. It’s a shifty little number, more direct musically but a bit more shadowy when it comes to the vocals (this would be the “alley” song of the pair). Listen to that one below.

New Toyohirakumi: Into The Wild

The “guilty pleasure” has become an archaic term in 2014, and one that deserves to recede into history as a goofy term that existed in far meaner times. Yet a worthy replacement for contemporary times would be music one feels no hesitation liking…but is hesitant to share with others (whereas the “guilty pleasure” always carried an air of smugness to it – “oh, I’m better than everyone else, but I do like professional wrestling!”).Which is a long way of saying – I really like vaporwave music, but I’ve never felt more confident about a style of music being less accessible than it. I expect zero people to enjoy it, but that’s not stopping me from overloading on .ZIP files.

Anyway, I’m always hesitant to share this sort of music, though this time around that would have been a mistake. Japan’s Toyohirakumi falls under the large vaporwave umbrella, but latest collection Into The Wild doesn’t feature many of the hallmarks of the style (more where it is released on). It is a gentle, easy-going set that swivels from drowsy instrumentals to more playroom-ready romps (“Deer” is super-goofy fun). Give it a whirl, even if you don’t think it’s for you. Get it here, or listen below.

New C.I.T.Y. – “Secret Touch” Featuring Chap:pee

Fukuoka’s C.I.T.Y. has made relatively chilled-out songs for a little bit now, and the project’s latest is an especially breezy hopper. “Secret Touch” bounces along, built for early evenings, and is blessed with a great vocal, presumably from Chap:pee. Always good to keep one ear focused on Western Japan, and here is another outfit to mind. Listen above.

Twinkle Twilight: Einsteins’ OTSMN EP

The terrible truth is – I haven’t had much time to listen to music recently. In 2014 that seems ridiculous…something something always in the Cloud something something…but for whatever reason I just haven’t listened to much. I could bore you with some personal essay ramblings, but it’s a pretty simple TL;DR – I’ve been busy, and simply sitting down and listening to things hasn’t been an option.

This is all a set up to say that this post has been sitting in my drafts for a week now, and that I have only listened to the new EP from synth-pop group Einstein’s in full once and in smatterings on a couple other times. But all those times, I remember feeling comforted by the music and enjoying in so…despite not having anything smart to say, you should give this a listen, above.