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New Suiyoubi No Campanella: “Matsuo Basho”

Suiyoubi No Campanella’s ascent in 2016 shows no signs of slowing down, an outfit once hovering around the Shinjuku Loft scene now popping up on SMAP X SMAP (uhh, R.I.P?) and scoring tie-up campaigns with Toyota. The latter — repping for the Prius — has generated her latest song, “Matsuo Basho,” and like many acts before them, Suiyoubi uses the spotlight to shine rather than shrink. By now, Suiyoubi has a sound, albeit one built around being prone for swerves — it was all over this summer’s UMA, an album I’d like to write about some time, but I don’t know when! — and “Matsuo Basho” follows that format, the producers crafting a shifty backdrop (Warped vocals! Piano lines! Snippets of surging bass!) over which Komuai darts all over. It isn’t particularly smooth in how it deals with the necessary (for, ya know, ambitious J-pop) advertising tie-up, as there seems to be a passage in the song detailing the features of a new Toyota Prius (airbags, suspension, etc) and the general idea behind it seems to be inspired by a test drive in said automobile. Though, funny enough, said tie up does allow for a glimpse of the producer who never shows his face. This, then, isn’t going to change the minds of anyone already down (or never on board with) the trio, but people already fine with this (or who don’t have any qualms about cross-over-ready acts chasing that ambition) get a solid Suiyoubi No Campanella song. I’m in the latter camp and, even if hearing a line about reclining chairs makes me side eye a bit, the overall quality still pushes it up for me — besides, this is one of my favorite Perfume songs, and it is an outright ad for clothes. And I mean…not like the U.S. or England is much better with this. If you are going to shill, at least make the music sound good. Listen above.