The go-to trick is to make a peppy sounding song concealing dark lyrics, or at least a few uneasy details among the poppy touches. Tokyo’s Zombie-Chang bobs the other way — her music can sound creepy and exhausted, but the person at the front of every track sounds like she’s having a blast, and that joy spills over. Last year’s double whammy of “Summer Time” and “Lemonade” both sound, from a beat perspective, sinister and unsettling, but they morph into songs full of life in large part because of Zombie-Chang.
“Semete Kanashii Tokiniwa,” from her forthcoming self-titled full-length, leans more towards blurry eyed, her music being a simple beat and some sun-rippling-on-a-pond synths. It’s something to roam the empty streets to before first train starts up, not to revel to. Yet Zombie-Chang staggers around it, delivering words while her voice tries to leapfrog itself, and by the chorus those dueling Zombie-Chang’s practically break down in laughter. It isn’t upbeat, per se, but she adds some brightness in. Listen above.