Osaka’s The Neon City captures snapshots of youth across Fancy In Twenties. Her debut EP comes after a solid stream of songs and demos, and the brief set consolidates her daydreamy synth-pop sound. Her songs are sparse, opting for a woozy simplicity that makes the vocals stand out and makes the instances where the music takes off all the more powerful. Opener “Magical Love” strolls along on sun-dappled keyboard lines and echoing singing, while “City Girl” turns to guitar to push itself forward. This is bedroom pop at its most cloistered, built from drum machines and woozy electronics.
Yet this bare-bones structure works to Fancy In Twenties advantage, as it allows The Neon City to zoom in on the feelings shaping these songs. Moments and thoughts stand out more in youth, every feeling resonating harder and meaning more. Age dulls this — life just gets busier, and what once consumed you for days becomes an afternoon concern. The Neon City captures the lingering nature of being young throughout her debut EP — “Magical Love” skirts between nervousness and optimism, the dazed nature of the music feeling like a daydream played on loop. “The Life That Walks” meditates on the question “I wonder if we could walk home together?” while closer “Let’s Go Sunday Night” finds her and New Zealand artist Merk (who produced this set) taking turns looking at the salvation of going out on a Sunday with friends. “Flower Park,” the sparsest of the numbers here, goes even more abstract, “I just feel like falling down” repeated, until the protagonist starts wondering if this feeling is actually love. And this is what makes it such a strong debut — The Neon City isn’t interested in answers, but in capturing that blurry feeling. Listen on your preferred streaming service.