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New Ayumiko Featuring Nozaki Rikon: “Yako”

The latest from Aymiko works best when simply conjuring up a dream-like state. “Yako” swirls about, giving space for Aymiko to deliver lyrics that unfold at her own pace, everything surrounding her adding a certain tension. Guest Nozaki Rikon proves to be a hit-or-miss addition — as someone adding a few spoken-word dollops of creepiness behind Aymiko, he’s great. That rap at the very start though derails the atmosphere and can’t end quickly enough. Thankfully, it does, allowing the focus to return to those involved really making this one stick around. Listen above.

New tofubeats: “Keep On Lovin’ You”

This one’s taken a few plays to really wrangle with, but the latest single form tofubeats works when zooming in on the details. Taken as a whole “Keep On Lovin’ You” offers up some easy-going pop that imagines a best-case Maroon 5 circa turn of the century (OK, a far better comparison would be a group like SHE IS SUMMER, who create straightforward but catchy cuts touching on city pop that aren’t so obvious about it. This is actually pointing towards a greater trend, but more on that some other day). The best parts, though, come by zooming in to see tofubeats’ approach to putting something like this together. His vocals remain a nice splash of character — he’s fully embraced his digi-soaked singing, allowing himself to be the center rather than guest vocalists, which has been one of the biggest triumphs for tofubeats in recent years — while individual moments like his voice rippling off in the distance leave a mark. The guitar loops sound apt for summer, and when he lets those flutes come in after the first chorus, that’s some heavenly stuff. Listen above.

New Koeosaeme: “Obanikeshi”

Part of me just wants to note that there’s a song called “Meat Texture” on this album that is pretty much that, and call this post finished. Koeosaeme’s latest album accomplishes more than just offering up the sonic equivalent of squishing some chuck in your hands, but this textural approach to music has helped push the producer up in a crowded community of experimental artists playing around with similar ideas, like Foodman and everyone on Wasabi Tapes. Obanikeshi features some of their most dizzying creations yet, shooting out the gate with tape-rewind-like sounds and a cascade of vocal samples on “Azimuth,” and just not stopping as the album moves on. Yet amongst all this chaos, interesting melodies and an ample amount of dazzling individual moments emerge. Get it here, or listen below.

New Pictured Resort: “Someday”

Pictured Resort return with a new album titled Pictured Resort on July 3, and they are setting the summer mood a little early with advance peak “Someday.” The band bolster their breezy rock with a little more bluster, clearest through the inclusion of some guitar lines going all Tears For Fears. The coastal pace remains, but now they add a little more swing to it all. Listen above.

New Tamana Ramen: “Yawarakai”

The success of “Yawarakai” isn’t so much in the fact rapper Tamana Ramen sounds sadder or downtrodden, but rather how the music backing her up allows her to play around with the mood. Moving in the same direction as many of her peers in a new Japanese rap community, Tamana Ramen embraces guitar playing better suited to a band wearing all black from, like, 2003, using only light percussion and some vocal samples that trail off to add to the mood. She starts the song by singing, giving this one a more traditional rock vibe, until she pivots into something more explicitly rap midway through. Throughout, she manages a melancholy mood from her sparse sound. Listen above.