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New Frasco: “Tatemae”

Let’s “Bandersnatch” this one: select (1) to ask the music blogger why the video above is so short, select (2) to ask the music blogger about Frasco’s “Tatemae” by itself.

(1) OK, sit down for a second, have I got some thoughts to unload on you. There’s this whole new class of Japanese artist emerging in the streaming era that one could label “Spotifycore,” though I think that’s a little too negative. These groups would absolutely have existed ten years ago, and a duo like Frasco aren’t doing anything to try to game the system (get to the chorus faster in that case!). This sort of streaming lower-middle class of Japanese music has nothing to do with sound, but more about position. These are acts that are either on small labels or on the fringes of major ones, and streaming has opened up this intriguing opportunity for them to stand out (or at least try while Aimyon’s songs clog up all the top charts). But the trade off here is that hearing the whole number on streaming ends up being the priority, so you get a “concept video” like the one above, which plays about half of “Tatemae,” which is a lovely song right in Frasco’s wheelhouse. But this is a bigger point, about how streaming isn’t setting Japanese music free, but just presenting a new place listeners have to go…not Tower Records, but Apple Music. This isn’t far removed from the “short version” of yesteryear, and a reminder Japanese music is still sorting all of this stuff out. Hey wait, where did you go, I had more to say….

(2) Oh yeah, it’s good, Frasco know how to make this slightly woozy synth-pop work for them and pull on the old heartstrings a little. They are masters of consistency. Now, want to hear me ramble about streaming???