Over the past two years, a very specific set of sounds have come to define “tropical” music, popularized by producer Kyogo and absorbed by…almost every pop star to some degree or another. Summer 2017 marks the full arrival of this style to Japan, highlighted by popular tunes from the likes of w-inds to lol. Just like the rest of the globe, this boom has made music that conjures up the seaside without leaning on the same set of sounds all the more intriguing. Japanese producer Suntra’s Oblivion Summer Coast has been a long time in the making, but the wait is well worth it, as the end result is an album of ocean-adjacent dance equal parts chilled out and energetic, without ever once bringing to mind top-40 tropes.
Suntra opens things calmly with the scene-setting “Hot Sand,” but from there Oblivion hops all over, from reflective jams that would make Software proud (“Starry Beach”) to swift keyboard workout (“Starbase Rugby”). Suntra is at their best when finding a middle ground between grooveable and sweet, such as on the in-no-rush “Palm Avenue” or album-highlight skipper “Maboroshi Bayside” (video above). Save for the slow-burning floor-filled “Six Nights,” the songs never sneak above the six minute mark, packing in all their warm vibes in before running out of steam. Apt listening for the rest of the summer…and even later, when images of seaside living will be in demand. Get it here, or listen below.