Make Believe Melodies Logo

Tag Archives: wallflower

Music Alliance Pact May 2012

In an effort to reflect the dominant trends in Japanese indie music, we chose Osaka indie-pop outfit Wallflower to appear in the May 2012 edition of the Music Alliance Pact. There “Cure Your Heart” is one of the peppiest songs with twee DNA to pop out of the country this year…and there have been many. They have a new album out new month, as well. Check out “Cure Your Heart” along with a bunch of other great songs from all over the globe below.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the whole 34-track compilation through here.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
WallflowerCure Your Heart
Indie-pop music never left Japan, as bands trying to sound twee have been popping up since the C86 tape dropped. Yet this year has seen a boom in jangly rock groups, with Osaka outfit Wallflower being one of the catchiest. They take cues from The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart and even opened for that American band when they came to Japan earlier this year. This song shows they learned well from The Pains, as they nail dreamy indie-pop yearning in just over three minutes.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Prietto Viaja Al Cosmos Con MarianoEy, Esa No Es Forma De Decir Adiós
PVACCM is a psychedelic rock duo (Mariano, drums and vocals; Prietto, guitar and vocals) from Buenos Aires. Their first recordings were kind of lo-fi experiments but in the last couple of years they’ve developed a unique sound with melodies and lyrics that grow on you in a melancholic way. This track is their rendition of Leonard Cohen’s classic tune Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye and features on their last album, a 28-song double record that you can purchase from Bandcamp.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
Mile Me DeafWild At Heart
Mile Me Deaf is one of the other bands Killed By 9V Batteries’ Wolfgang Möstl plays in. And although side-projects – such an unfair name for a 500+ songs oeuvre – are usually a space for weird shit your band mates didn’t agree to, their first album Eat Skull, and especially the first single Wild At Heart, is surprisingly free of noise and distortion. Instead, it creates the last-day-of-summer-holidays feeling you know from Girls and Beach House.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Leonardo MarquesLinha Do Trem
Nostalgic melodies are the hallmark of Dia e Noite No Mesmo Céu, the debut album of Leonardo Marques. His songs recall a bucolic scenery, romantic and lonely, as we can hear on Linha Do Trem. Leonardo recorded all instruments on his solo work (except drums) in a homely, intimate setting. His music is likely to appeal to fans of Elliott Smith, Clube Da Esquina and Jon Brion.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
The RestAlways On My Mind
The story of The Rest’s new album, SEESAW, will be one of legend. First, their dear friend and producer Dan Achen passed away suddenly just as they started recording. Then, a month away from finishing the record, a hard-drive glitch deleted everything they’d done so far. It took a black box recovery team six months to retrieve it. Now, more than a year later, it’s here. And it’s stunning. The beautifully hazy Always On My Mind just hints at SEESAW’s orchestral brilliance.

CHILE: Super 45
Daniel KlauserSimply Swag
If we had to put all our money on one name from the Chilean dance scene, it would definitively be Daniel Klauser. The young producer skillfully brings together elements from 90s house, ghetto-style hip hop and tribal music, and has so far gathered a considerable amount of positive reviews from local and international media. This track open his Simply Swag EP, which you can download for free from Diamante Records.

CHINA: Wooozy
Beijing-based trio Snapline just released their second album Phenomena through Maybe Mars Records. Their music puts a contemporary Beijing spin on the sounds and ideas produced by the noise and minimalist musicians of the 70s and 80s, especially focusing on the New York scene of that period. They also explore the dark, industrial music coming out of England during that period, especially from bands such as Joy Division and The Cure.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
Like Some Cat From JapanJohnny Ramone
Like Some Cat From Japan (LSCFJ) take their name from a line in one of David Bowie’s masterpieces, Ziggy Stardust. This electro group from Bogotá have a dance-punk sound that is perfect for the sweaty throng of a nightclub and dancing from dark until dawn.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
SLOWOLFSee U In My Dreams
This summer Andreas Asingh, one third of lauded electro-pop outfit SMALL, will release his debut as SLOWOLF. Not much is known about the project but he says that black metal, hip hop and dream pop will unite, perhaps for the first time, on the album which will also feature a chorus written by a seven-year-old boy and Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan. Here’s the excellent first single See U In My Dreams, a Music Alliance Pact exclusive download.

ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog
Sarah YoungAjambo Si
Sarah Young, noted the Guardian’s New Band of the Day writer, is the queen of moombahton, the genre that fuses Dutch house and reggaeton, soca and dancehall. If anyone is going to cross over and “do a Katy B”, as such a manoeuvre is becoming known, it’s this 22-year-old graduate of the Academy of Contemporary Music turned DJ, producer and all-round moom-bassador. Ajambo Si, the opening track on her new EP, features Lioness and Slick Don and is based on a kuduro rhythm, but to the NBotD writer it sounded “like dubstep meets dancehall or Caribbean grime, like Dizzee if he went to St Lucia on holiday and never came back”.

All Will Be QuietThe First Day Pt. 2
Post-rock band All Will Be Quiet releases its debut album On The First Day this month. It is a concept record about the collapse and rebirth of society with an optimistic view on the how the future will be for mankind. Equally ambitious is The First Day Pt. 2, a grandiose and cinematic instrumental song that opens the second part of the album.

FRANCE: Yet You’re Fired
BirkiiHoly War
Birkii brought us the joyful pop song Shade Of Doubt last year on the great Kitsuné Parisien compilation, and then appeared in many mixes and playlists, including Edwin van Cleef’s April mixtape. Now she’s back with Holy War, a catchy synth-pop song from Kitsuné Parisien II that will also be on her debut EP out on June 4, with remixes from Equateur, Pol Rax, Pegase (last month’s MAP artist) and Zemaria.

GERMANY: Blogpartei
Christian LoefflerEleven (feat. Mohna)
There are many subtle things in Christian Loeffler’s debut A Forest which make his music very contemporary – there is swishing, there is rustling, there is clacking, there is tinging. In the pleasantly moody track Eleven, Mohna, singer of former MAP band Me Succeeds, adds another level to Loeffler’s calm but vivid opus.

ICELAND: Rjóminn
The Lovely LionInto The Forest
Representing the new wave of Icelandic folk-pop revival, The Lovely Lion are ones to watch for the future. Though this young and extremely talented band have only recorded a handful of songs and are still unsigned, their unique approach to songwriting and polished sound is sure to grab the attention of music lovers everywhere.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
Raw, lo-fi, angry dark punk from Medan with added passion about world history which lead us to a song about Napoleon Bonaparte.

IRELAND: Nialler9
Not SquaresFall Far
Northern Irish electro punks Not Squares have ditched the ultra high-energy in favour of a more restrained dancefloor synth-pop sound for their new single. While Fall Far’s new direction can be compared to the kind of stuff coming out on the Kitsuné label, it must be said that this is a very good look and a surprising one for the band. The best Irish song released in April bar none.

ITALY: Polaroid
The MojomaticsYou Are The Reason For My Trouble
You Are The Reason For My Trouble is the fourth album by The Mojomatics, one the best and coolest garage rock bands around Italy and Europe. The duo from Venice brings into their sound echoes of Rolling Stones, Kinks and Dylan, but what I deeply love about their songs and concerts is their tireless energy.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Stolen CreepThrow Your Heart To The Sea
Stolen Creep is the brainchild of childhood friends Marie Borg Alden (guitars, vocals) and Rebecca Theuma (drums). The band has had many different members, recently settling into the current line-up of Marie, Rebecca and Katryna Storace (guitars, vocals). Following a busy year of writing, rewriting and rehearsals, they chose their favourite songs and retreated to record their first EP, Throw Your Heart To The Sea.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
Andy MountainsHoy Me Gusta Mi Peinado
The title of this song, translated into English, is “Today, I Like My Hair”. With the naive viewpoint of early college students, this Mexico City quintet portrait everyday existential nuances with an optimism only an iPod advertisement would reach. But don’t classify Andy Mountains as cheap, feelgood jingle-makers. Their sound thrives in high-brow references that go from Animal Collective to the minimalism of La Monte Young. Give this tune a try and have a good hair day!

AudioleySame Old
Audioley is a new project by Francois Peglau and Jules Drade, two Peruvian musicians based in London. Audioley started as an experiment, with the duo meeting one night every week to make a song a day. First single Same Old is feelgood electronic pop and comes with a curious and funny video.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
T(h)ree was featured in MAP in February 2011. T(h)ree is not a band but a project which brings together musicians/bands from Portugal and, for this second volume, Philippines and Singapore. In the featured track, we have Stealing Orchestra (Portugal), Maze (Portugal) and The Analog Girl (Singapore) playing together.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
Harry RagTiny Painting
Harry Rag is the solo project of Kristian Prieto (Coleco, Alegría Rampante), who wanted to figure out just how many sounds and moods he could generate with his acoustic guitar. Prieto has released seven ‘web albums’ under the Harry Rag name, all recorded in his bedroom straight to a four-track, each one expanding on his guitar experiments and polishing up his sound. Tiny Painting is a great recent example of his prowess as a young musician and is taken from his latest album, The Ghastly Adventures Of Ghost Goat.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
Jazzadezz is a dream pop/new wave band formed by Alin Zabrauteanu (synths, guitar, production) and Dezdemona Mihaescu (vocals). For their 2010 debut album Inimani Mal, Calin Torsan (Domnisoara Pogany and NU & Apa Neagră) joined the band playing clarinet, recorder and caval. In 2012, another two members were added, Alex Stanciu on guitar (also in Domnisoara Pogany) and drummer Eduard Gabia, a renowned choreographer and contemporary artist. The second album, Panta Rhei, was released last month and experiments in new areas such as ambient, post-rock and trip-hop.

RUSSIA: Big Echo
2muchachosStriwi Kri4at
Striwi Kri4at is a beautiful instrumental piece from romantic dream pop band 2muchachos, who released their Vesnywki!! EP last month, a perfect soundtrack for spring.

Julia And The DoogansDown The Line
Julia Doogan has everything you’d want from a pop singer – a genuinely distinguishable voice, a breakable heart, just the right amount of melancholy, and lyrics that are honest but not mushy. MAP exclusive free download Down The Line is taken from Julia And The Doogans’ achingly graceful new five-track Diamonds EP (buy on Bandcamp), and shows off the talents of Julia and her lush band to near perfection.

SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To…
Sze KiatOnce In A While
No man is an island, yet one gets the sense that the musical ideas that transpire in Sze Kiat’s mind were born from the stillness of time. There’s an unhurried approach to his songwriting and an intimacy that evokes a strain that could only come from a sort of crying out from some terrifying or forsaken place. Featuring traditional Chinese stringed instruments such as the erhu and the zhongruan, the sparse instrumentation serves as the background to Sze Kiat’s simple yet emotive lyrics.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
Nate MaingardThe Open Space
Nate Maingard is an indie-folk singer-songwriter from Cape Town whose music often brings the likes of Damien Rice, Coldplay and Jack Johnson to mind. His voice has been compared to Thom Yorke and Ben Gibbard, and his easy style and sense of melody shine through on The Open Space with a passionate undertone throughout.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
E9My Little Flutter
E9, short for Edward Nine, wish to combine the pureness of Edward Scissorhands with the rampage of Nine Inch Nails. Their sound is influenced by groups like Placebo and Muse, while their lyrics tell fairy tales. The band has been around for several years and are preparing to release their first EP. My Little Flutter is a perfect sample of E9’s mixture of grunge, punk and Britpop with electronic sounds.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Boreals are probably younger than any of you beloved MAP readers but that doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re doing. And what they do is deliver a fine mixture of cosmic post-rock (clearly influenced by Explosions In The Sky) embellished with clouds of synths that makes their sound epic and heart-touching, just as post-rock should. Luciérnagas, one of their most atmospheric tracks, is taken from their second EP, Grecia, released through Barcelona-based label Irregular, home of former MAP acts Lasers and The Suicide Of Western Culture.

SWEDEN: Swedesplease
The new record from Skatan is out on May 23 and is called Seven Trees. The first single, Control, features a little more eclectic instrumentation than in the past and Simone Andersson Wingfors’ voice is less processed and more immediate, resulting in a song that hits all the right chords.

Baba ShrimpsAngel
This five-piece from Zurich play impulsive pop music with a blend of country and rock. Baba Shrimps will release a new record at the end of 2012, but to shorten the waiting time they have dropped a live version of a new, unreleased song called Angel.

SolardipLeap Of Faith
With their French electro/indie-influenced sound, Solardip is one of the few live acts of their genre in the country. In a short time, these three Istanbul youngsters have attracted a big audience. Debut album Future Now came out in March through Remoov Records after the release of the spectacular single and sexy video of Dance Like Wolves.

UNITED STATES: I Guess I’m Floating
Nicole MiglisStay Small
There’s no hiding my affection for Gainesville’s Hundred Waters, one of 2012’s best new bands. Just as bewilderingly complete, elegant and worth exploring is the solo work of their frontwoman, Nicole Miglis. Stay Small is from her debut self-titled EP, which you can download for free here.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Ulises HadjisDonde Va
Ulises Hadjis is a young artist from Maracaibo. Despite his fledgling career, he already has two albums and a Latin Grammy as a music producer to his name. His second record, Cosas Perdidas, was released last month. In his own words, it is “an honest collection of songs” and shows more maturity in his lyrics and compositions than its predecessor, Presente.

Wallflower Cover The Field Mice: “This Love Is Not Wrong”

Osaka indie-pop outfit Wallflower posted a cover of The Field Mice’s “This Love Is Not Wrong” online over the weekend, and its definitely worth taking a listen to. For the most part, Wallflower’s take on the track doesn’t break new ground – something something jangle something something twee – save for the vocals. Whereas The Field Mice original leaves the singing untouched and in the open, Wallflower’s vocalist gets pushed a little deeper into the mix and surrounded by sparkles, which is me trying to describe Wallflower sounding “dreamy” without using the word “dreamy.”

[soundcloud url=”″ iframe=”true” /]

The current boom in Japanese indie-pop has resulted in a lot of good music…this cover being a fine example…but at the same time the whole thing comes off as a bit too backward looking, a little too content to stare wide-eyed at the past and replicate those times. I like the original songs these groups do – Wallflower’s “Cure For Your Heart” is a good example, or just as recently Post Modern Team’s “Never Let You Down” – but there has also been a rise in cover songs that just don’t add much to the conversation besides “remember this, that was great.” I like The Field Mice and The Smiths and all the stuff covered on the JPN C86 tape as much as the next melancholy blogger, but indie-pop is all about creation, of picking up whatever instrument you have and creating something with it. I love the original stuff coming out as they really represent the DIY nature of indie-pop, but all these covers seem a bit too nostalgic.

Or cover “Emma’s House,” I wouldn’t whine about that.

Make Believe Mix For April 2012 Featuring Cloudy Busey, BOYISH and White Scooper

[soundcloud url=”″ iframe=”true” /]

Indie-pop ended up being the flavor of the April, from the C86 tape Moscow Club presented to the world to an endless parade of twee-leaning bands popping up on SoundCloud. This month’s Make Believe Mix represents this trend and, like the Moscow Club mix, attempts to expand the definition of indie-pop beyond jangly guitars. Which we’ve got plenty of, don’t worry – BOYISH, Wallflower and Lilacs give us traditional indie-pop from Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya respectively. Yet Cloudy Busey takes the spirit of indie-pop and embeds it into a dance track, one more influenced by Stardust than Sea Urchins. Shortcake Collage Tape turn twee inwards on “Polaroid Full Of Kisses” while White Scooper…OK, White Scooper isn’t indie-pop, their “Winter Hawk” closing the mix out with some angular dance-rock.

Below is a list of artists and songs appearing in this month’s mix, in chronological order. Click the links to read more about them and find out how to buy/get their music. All artists featured gave me permission to include their music in this mix.

Cloudy Busey “Who Says They Love You” – Online song. Download here.

BOYISH “Waiting In Summer” – From the Gentle Breeze EP. Download here.

Lilacs “Walk The Path I’ve Laid” – Online song. Download here.

Shortcake Collage Tape “Polaroid Full Of Kisses” – Online song. Download here.

Wallflower “Cure Your Heart” – From Fastcut Records. Listen here.

White Scooper “Winter Hawk” – From the album Dazzle. Buy here.

The Pains Of Being Like The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart: Wallflower’s “Cure Your Heart”

Late last week, American indie-pop outfit The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart tweeted about “Cure Your Heart,” a new song from Osaka outfit Wallflower. Makes sense for a couple reasons, most prominently being that Wallflower opened for the Slumberland group during their recent Japanese tour. Yet Wallflower also chase after the same hazy Polaroid influences The Pains have over their career, devoutly playing sounds straight from the Sarah Records offices of the mid 80’s. “Cure Your Heart,” then, presents an interesting study in influences – The Pains have been knocked/celebrated for being so faithful to their twee origins. Wallflower, relatively new to the scene, seemingly channels The Pains (the vocal similarities, for one), making this a copy of a copy of a pastel cardigan. Feel weird?

There is a good discussion buried somewhere in this situation, but it would be like bringing up politics at an outing to a water park. “Cure Your Heart” is a bouncy bit of indie-pop that is tough to frown at while it’s playing, all warm guitar and fuzzy vocals filtered through a shoegaze gauze. Coupled with a perfect release time – spring is finally starting to bloom in Japan – and Wallflower have made an enjoyable piece of pop. Listen below.

[soundcloud url=”″ iframe=”true” /]