Make Believe Melodies Logo

New Toyohirakumin: Aurora Town

Vaporwave — or things that can easily be tagged as such — is a tricky thing. The bulk of it, especially in the last three years, is disposable, slowed down songs and jingles poorly imitating the artists who were the first to get the genre going. What they are lacking is emotional resonance — a slowed down ’80s number or elevator filler doesn’t mean anything unless you can pinpoint something human in those smooth melodies. Japan’s Toyohirakumin — possibly because, as an actual Japanese artist, they aren’t engaging it from an ironic or aesthetic-only angle — has done great at finding the sweetness lurking in half-speed music, honing in on a sweet nostalgia lurking within. The producer’s latest, Aurora Town, is a wistful set from front to back, opening with the longing of “Dancer,” which turns simple keyboard playing and guitar notes into recollection. All of Aurora Town unfolds in a daze, lending numbers such as the dreary-eyed “Colombo” extra sweetness and the high-stepping of “4 Choome Plaza” all the flashier. The key is, Aurora Town is a lovely one to just melt into. Get it here, or listen below.