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New Paellas: “Shooting Star”

Sometimes, you do something long enough it ends up aligning just right with a trend…or presents a shadow version of a booming sound. Paellas have been creating shadowy music since around 2012, initially starting off making late-night-lounge indie-pop before transitioning to a style drawing more from R&B and weaving in electronic touches, but maintaining the after-midnight despair. Following a great album late last year in Pressure, they seem poised to ratchet it up to the next level on forthcoming mini affair D.R.E.A.M. The sound mostly remains the same — the bass lines play out tightly, while the vocals continue to do downcast near-whispering just right. They add in a nifty keyboard solo. It struts, sadly, and hovers around a hooky chorus. It is very much a Paellas’ song, not far removed from the nocturnal laments of Pressure. Yet now all those sounds have become staples of mainstream Japanese music, or at least the next level under (the opening drum roll made me instantly think of Chai’s “Sayonara Complex,” except with dark alleys replacing sun-lit streets). If Suchmos represent all things laid back, cool and positive about Japanese music in 2017, Paellas have stumbled into a mirror role, using the same sonic palette to add some darker tones to these often polished sounds. Here’s hoping they connect with those burnt out from all the brightness. Watch above.