Make Believe Melodies Logo

Make It Creep: Araki Takara’s Paranoia

It has been a pretty good stretch of time for Japanese artists making pop with a deeply unsettling side. Entering the fray now is the latest release from a netlabel I’d usually associate with the brighter side of sound, Tanukineiri Records, with Araki Takara’s Paranoia. Similar to yahyel, you don’t have to bend yourself out of shape to realize a lot of the unnerving details are intentional — I mean, Paranoia gives that one away — so that this is kind of like ASMR for people who love feeling anxious. “Speechless” is the stunner for me, a trip-hop stroll with plenty of space to create a Halloween-appropriate atmosphere. And fittingly, the pace picks up suddenly and Takara’s voice gets pitches around, turning this one into an unpredictable and creepy number. It’s a feeling that carries over to the lurch of “Loser,” and even works its way into the most buoyant cut here, “Selfish,” where Takara raps. But her voice still mutates, and off in the distance something stirs, always looming. Get it here, or listen below.