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New Boyish: “Hikoukigumo Sora Ni Hitosuji”

Off of their just-released full-length Strings, Boyish’s “Hikoukigumo Sora Ni Hitosuji” presents a way to incorporate saxophone into an indie-pop song without crashing into full blown city pop. Which is becoming more of a problem in 2016 — look, I’ll go to bat for ’80s city pop any day, but the current “city pop revival” (read: everyone heard “Get Lucky”) more often than not lacks the same spark found in the Bubble ear version…probably because Japan is most certainly not in a Bubble era right now. This shift has hurt bands such as Special Favorite Music, who have made some fantastic, skippy indie-pop in recent memory, but on their recent debut album World’s Magic go way too slow in an attempt to be…a half-speed Suchmos? Whatever, because Boyish show sax doesn’t automatically equal city pop. “Hikoukigumo” exists in the same zone the band has long played in — not as feedback-drenched as their early days, but still taking nods from Sarah Records. And there is that sax coming in, adding extra sweetness to the song without throwing it off course. Which makes the finale all the better. Listen above.