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Fragile Blend: Naola’s “Cocktail”

Lord, I swear this comparison isn’t a simple “durrr both are women, both play guitar” reduction, but Japanese singer-songwriter Naola has a lot in common with Japanese singer-songwriter may.e. Primarily, they share an ability to get the absolute most out of a tiny arsenal of instruments (acoustic guitars and their voice), even if the end result is different. may.e’s songs turn limited resources into big hypnotic numbers, singing and strumming swirling together into one ecstatic blur. Naola is sparse, leaving plenty of space on “Cocktail,” with only a few lower-volume tracks of her voice whisping around her main vocals. Yet the way the words dance together…nudged on by the barely there guitar playing…makes it all the more affecting, and adding a loneliness to the song. Listen to it above, or another prime example of her skill below in the form of “Meme,” just as quietly devastating.