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New Izumi Makura: “P.S.”

The burgeoning trend of “women, rapping!” in Japan has, as it starts creeping over to the mainstream via compilation CDs and special festivals, has so far focused on the more energetic and off-beat artists, with a healthy does of “idol rap” units who might very well be trying to ditch the lesser trend from that description. Many artists involved in this new genre creation are great, but it also feels like a handful of artists doing something a little less energetic are going to be left out. Fukuoka’s Izumi Makura — who exists primarily in cartoon character form — makes what could be nicely described as total bummer music, songs focusing on the ups and (mostly) downs of being a young woman, with a few moments of sunlight creeping in through the bedroom window. It doesn’t fit the developing good-time vibe, but she’s also been responsible for some of the more gripping (and deep) songs out of this new wave. Songs about food (good!) can co-exist with songs about being sad (also good!).

Her newest single, “P.S.,” features delicately downbeat production courtesy of producer Nagaco, over which Izumi Makura raps and sings. It’s a mostly melancholy sounding song, but she’s also put in a few moments of lift, whether it be those sweet string swells or the general way this builds up to something that sounds a bit more chin-up come the end. Izumi Makura might be good at making sad songs, but she also knows to add some depth beyond just that. Listen above.