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Rough But Polished: Pillow Talk’s Masturbation

Lo-fi recordings can be charming by virtue of just sounding so homemade, but that fuzzy charm wears off really fast if the songs underneath stink. Tokyo’s Pillow Talks…a project boasting just a Bandcamp, and what appears to be no more info (prove me wrong! Please!)…make music that sounds like it as recorded straight into a boombox, the vocals wrapped in a layer of distortion. It certainly adds character — the first time the male singer’s voice, which sounds like it is playing through several liters of salt water, pops up on “Hakike” is great — but what makes their debut (?) album Masturbation stick around is how good the songs actually are. The title track is an easygoing number that ultimately gets a lot of mileage out of repeating “masturbation” over and over again, but it’s also a beautiful little meditation (also featuring the only female vocals on the album). From there, Masturbation is catchy indie-pop anchored by machine-made beats. Get it here, or listen below.