The “new City Pop” wave that really started crashing in last year looks to not be going anywhere in 2016, as groups embrace smooth sounds referencing the 1980s. It’s a hit-or-miss proposition, with some of it adding a sense of now to the proceedings (or just doing the throwback thing so well), but with a lot of the rest feeling a bit too diorama-ish.
Sound Resorts’ “Hadashi No Watashi” shows an interesting third path — it features all the requisite Kabukicho-in-a-bubble synths and sharp drum programming, but instead of playing it clean the project (intentionally or not) offers a messier nostalgia that jumps out from all the tight versions filling up record store shelves. The vocals sound like they are trying to escape a broken speaker, like they are caught up in time travel, while the samples popping up at the start and throughout sound rough. It’s a look at a past, but under a coat of dust. Listen above.