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Warm Fright: HelloHowLow’s “Menhera Girl (Summer Nightmare Mix)”

Aiming for outright catchiness in the summer is too easy. Sapporo-based electro-pop duo HelloHowLow released a song caled “Menhera Girl” about a year ago, and it’s an upbeat bouncer featuring digitally manipulated vocals, the sort of catchy number that fans of Perfume probably can get into easily. Yet it’s also a little too breezy, save for a late-song spoken word segment which adds some welcome goosepimples. For summer 2017, though, they’ve gone and made a “summer nightmare mix,” and this decision improves on the song immensely. The brightly illuminated singing of the original turns into something splitting at the seams — think The Knife — while the spoken word parts now pop up throughout, seemingly at random, making the uneasiness ever-present rather than confined to one stretch. Given the theme central to the song — facing down mental health issues — this “nightmare” mix makes everything feel far more urgent. Maybe not a summer jam, but something more interesting. Listen above.