Simply adding singing to a song can take it from familiar to thrilling. Tokyo duo HoneyComeBear create uptempo, at times claustrophobic, electronic music (“future bass” if you please), the sort of songs that sound like they were recorded in HiDef. Yet Kakko, who sings on their songs as well as pens them and helps compose the tracks, adds a humanity to the core their songs that helps them stand out. Not new in this corner of electronic music, but the way HoneyComeBear’s songs teeter between big, sugary joy and something more melancholy is a nice change of pace for sounds often coming off like a rave in Chuck E. Cheese’s.
“Rainy Girl” finds them slowing it down. The song unwraps at a stroll, interrupted only by metallic percussion. It allows Kakko’s singing to really take the center spot, and it works wonders on a song featuring lyrics devoted to meditations on loneliness in the rain. Yet the hook is a big burst of noise, partially joyful but leaving enough space to imply some continued ennui. Critically, the combo works, and makes “Rainy Girl” a highlight of this style in 2017. Listen above.