Busy week over here at Make Believe Melodies’ headquarters…and also a bit mismanaged when it came to blog planning. Originally, I wanted to run year-end coverage this week, but hey turns out that takes a lot of time, which I didn’t have. Yay excuses! So that will happen next week…favorite songs on Monday, honorable mentions and notable albums Tuesday and then a top-30 album countdown. While that gets assembled, here are some highlights from the past week:
— Suiyoubi No Campanella is setting the groundwork for 2016, sharing the first taste of her new album Superman, “Kame Hame Ha Daiou.” A lingering fear I’ve noticed some English-language fans of the outfit express is that, since joining a major label, the trio have gone too far pop. I disagree, but for a few seconds here I was a bit worried they were about to go full tropical house. Thankfully, the center of this song ends up being an experiment in how long you can warp and stretch out a bass drop and still call this pop. I mean, yeah, sure I’m totally hearing this all over the TV. Listen above.
— Though, while we are on the topic of mainstream J-Pop, E-Girls’ latest single “All Day Long Lady” is a pretty interesting entry. It opens with a jittery passage that bring to mind studio-approved versions of PC Music (and I swear I hear a Yoshi tongue in their, which just makes me think of Toiret Status or someone else on Wasabi Tapes…but that’s projection), before transitioning into a skippy bit of pop peaking with a solid hook. Naming the days of the week isn’t exactly a fresh songwriting take, but it works fine enough. Listen above.
— Moving towards the underground, producer Miii just shared a new-ish song called “Pneuma,” a hard-hitting number featuring a lot of wonderful shifts in tempo and ruff-necked passages. If the pop above wasn’t bruise-inducing enough, he’s got you covered. Listen above.
— Fresh off a tour of the United States, the godfather of Japanese juke DJ Fulltono comes bearing a new EP, groove 1. It features two slow-burning numbers, with just enough shifts in the skittery beat to keep it fresh throughout. Get it here. And while we are here, his U.S. tour partner Foodman also shared a new song…and it’s great, but we will be gushing enough about him next week, so let’s not dwell.
— Snail’s House keeps the cheeriness going with “Balloons,” a piano-heavy number that soon gives way to distorted vocal bits. It is the latest step in his development away from pure kawaii dance tunes. Listen above.
— Speaking of bright and bubbly, Omoide Label’s latest is by Harito. Hello Hello Everyday is a cuddly set of electronic numbers, featuring piano and skittery sliced-and-diced vocal samples, but done in a style…like what Snail’s House has been exploring…where it never gets too gooey. Also includes cuts such as “Call It A Day…” which lean on the more laid-back side of things. Get it here.