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Tag Archives: wallflower

New Wallflower: “I Wish Spring Would Last Forever”

It’s somewhat startling to realize Osaka indie-pop band Wallflower haven’t released a proper album yet. They’ve become one of the cornerstones of that city’s twee-tastic community, and have put out various singles, EP and — that classic curveball — the mini album over the last few years. But now comes a real first album, set to be released in June. In a truly twee move, the first taste of it is a song called “I Wish Spring Would Last Forever,” which currently sounds fitting but upon the album’s release in the humid depths of summer will sound melancholy (and, like, really nice). Indie-pop isn’t exactly the most adventerous style of music, and “I Wish Spring” is more of a reminder of what Wallflower do well than any shift forward. But they do it well, and that’s why this album is going to be an anticipated one, regardless of the season. Listen above.

New Wallflower: “Nowhere”

Note: I’m in Seattle for the next few days, which means posts might be less frequent than usual…especially accounting for the less-than-stellar wi-fi in my room.

Despite all the trends present in Japanese indie rock…how quickly scenes appear and vanish, how different non-Japanese acts end up being massive influences for stretches of time (today: Mac DeMarco)…indie-pop persists, rarely changing but always around. Osaka’s Wallflower do it prettier than most, avoiding the messy edges that often define the style in favor of shiny melodies and clear vocals. “Nowhere,” there newest single via Fastcut Records, highlights that polish well. It’s a slowly unfolding number, the mid-tempo guitar playing topped off by keyboard notes, the whole thing bathing in melancholy (“and get on a train going nowhere” goes the chorus…this is some defeated stuff). Listen above.

New Wallflower: Out To Sea

It seemed like Osaka indie-pop outfit Wallflower were keeping quiet for a bit, but turns out they were just releasing individual songs across various different compilations over the last few months. Out To Sea collects four of those tracks into one place, and makes for a very cohesive EP. That’s thanks to the groups sound, which pretty much knocks off all the boxes one expects from an indie-pop band — jangly,hooky, vaguely sounding like The Pains Of Being Heart except really that’s just because Wallflower’s lead singer kinda sounds familiar. Most of it, highlighted by the lithe “Butterfly Kisses” (off a Twee Grrrls Club collection), is nice and skippy, though closer “Looks Like Snow” offers a nice melancholy Christmas finale (from a Miles Apart Records seasonal offering) to close on. Get it here, or listen below.

Memory No. 36 Recordings Prep First Compilation, Featuring New Stuff From The Paellas And Wallflower

Canadian cassette label Memory No. 36 Recordings is no stranger to showcasing great Japanese music flying under the radar. They released Elen Never Sleeps dreamy Silver EP earlier this year, and are working with Boyish on a new tape due sometime in the near future. They are releasing their first compilation this Friday (April 19 if you don’t have a calendar handy), and this 31-track beauty features two cuts from Kansai bands that we happen to dig too. The Paellas continue to sound like the ideal band to take up residency at an aging seaside lounge with the track “Candy Eyes,” one of their slower numbers to date. The music offers up plenty of space for the group’s greatest draw, the vocals, which sound eternally lost (aided by the aged-mic sound that is their trademark). Yet this one hides some hope – see the chorus, “there is candy in your eyes,” which sounds oddly sweet. More blatantly upbeat (sorta) is Osaka’s Wallflower, who channel Sarah Records’ glory days on “Summer’s End Getaway.” Like most of their existing catalog – and like 90 percent of what that twee English label used to put out – this does conceal a hint of melancholy that’s easy to miss over the guitar and drums skip. Listen to both below.

And hey, you should get this compilation for some non-Japanese groups too! Friends of Make Believe Melodies Kero Kero Bonito contribute two songs, and vaporwave survivor Saint Pepsi does the microgenre proud with “Serious.” My favorite discovery, though, is LA’s spazzkid. Listen to all of it now.

Tweekend Update: Wallflower, The Moments And More Put Together Sarah Records Compilation, Traffic Light Release Split EP With Saturday Looks Good To Me

Indie-pop, twee, wimpy love songs, cardigans, you know the schtick, let’s just focus on the music.

A group out of Osaka called Sarahry Records will be holding an event at the Pangea Cafe in Sakai on September 22, described as “dedicated to Sarah Records,” the seminal English indie-pop label from the 1980s. The event will feature some of the best up-and-coming guitar-pop bands in the region today, and in advance of the show Sarahry has released a special compilation featuring each of the groups performing at the even covering a Sarah Record’s classic. The versions appearing on this online compilation don’t stray from the source material – Wallflower’s take on Brighter’s “Does Love Last Forever?” and Lilac’s cover of Heavenly’s “Cool Guitar Boy” sound faithful – which is appropriate given these groups wide-eyed love of indie-pop…they aren’t going to go and muck up the classics. Only Fandaze’s version of The Field Mice’s “Emma’s House” seems slightly adjusted, moving at a slower pace than the original. It still sounds fine, but you should really just listen to the original, here’s a link (critical bias: it’s my favorite indie-pop song ever). Visit the official page here, or listen below.

In other Japanese indie-pop news, quaint outfit Traffic Light have released a split EP with long-running Ann Arbor project Saturday Looks Good To Me. You can buy the single at the Violet And Claire store in Shibuya, or cop it online here. There is no sample of the songs online at the moment, but it’s a good move for Traffic Light, teaming up with a group who has been receiving a lot of praise from the American music media in the past ten year.