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Idol Thoughts: Yunomi’s “Akenai Yoru, Samenai Yume” And BPM15Q’s “Hakuchyumu”

At this point, Hokkaido-based project Yunomi could (and should!) replace at least a mini-album of their squishy, cuddly electro-pop. “Akenai Yoru, Samenai Yume” is the latest entry in what is becoming one of the stronger runs of releases over the past 12 months, and it touches on all the elements that have made Yunomi stand out from the kawaii pack. For all its stuffing, the song boasts a build and drop, backed by a hard-hitting beat and some sharp synth notes. Vocalist Nicamoq, who has appeared in the Yunomi universe before, does a great job with her near-whisper voice, offering hushed meditations among all the chimes and burbles. It’s another solid SoundCloud-era eletro-pop song, one that balances cuteness with something hard. Listen above.

Now, comes the inward-looking part. Nicamoq, alongside former BiS member Rina Yokoyama (Rinahamu, to most), started an idol duo called BPM15Q last year, and recently released a new single. Their first song dabbled in fast-paced electro-pop summed up as “SoundCloud-appropriate,” which leads down a path I personally often find with idol groups doing contemporary sounds…why would I listen to this when I can just listen to no shortage of artists doing the same thing away from the landmine-field of idol music?* This attitude, though, can be very misleading. The duo’s latest song sounds a lot like the Yunomi song above — beyond the obvious that Nicamoq sings in both — and features the same shrill electronics and classic Japanese instrumentation that popped up in “Oedo Controller.” It’s possible Yunomi worked on this…though even if that wasn’t the case, it still goes every bit as hard as the song above, with a few splashes of thrown in for good measure. It’s a fun, zippy number, that certain thickheaded writers (~~staring in the mirror~~) shouldn’t dismiss off the bat. Listen above.

*Immediate, fair-point argument…that “SoundCloud” can serve as an description hints that much of the “authentic” alternatives to this are already derivative and most likely garbage. “BPM15Q,” in particular, is better than entire goofy collectives of “real” artists who heard a Wave Racer song once and thought, “yeah, I could do this.”