One of the reasons Tokyo’s mysterious i-fls has become one of the most intriguing music makers of the year thus far is his ability to stick to a sound – in his case, Garageband-crafted melodies that usually last no longer than two minutes – and wring out a plethora of emotion from them. The various albums and EPs i-fls has released over the past few months feel like a sonic scrapbook of fleeting memories, the minute details of a day long passed floating through your head during a lunch break.
Wished Nightmare finds i-fls heading into slightly darker territory, hear taking time to show that not all reflections are happy or melancholy…but can also be disconcerting. He’s still constructing sweet little ditties, like the whirring “Fumiko’s New Idea” or the heart-tugging “Asako (From The Passenger’s Seat),” but his latest also features some unnerving moments. Opener “Fuzai” is the most ambitious song here…and also the longest. Built on Morse-code electronics and an atmosphere I can only describe as “horror-movie-esque,” the song drift like fog in a slasher flick, signaling something menacing on the horizon. It is, perhaps, the nightmare in the title. Some of that mist clouds the following track “Absence Notification,” which sounds like a typical i-fls track but with something eschew. And “Sector,” while only lasting 33 seconds, is a strange little interlude. For the most part, Wished Nightmare is another fine entry into i-fls sigh-inducing catalog, but one with a few bad dreams lurking around. Listen below or get it here.