My final installment of this DEAD FUNNY RECORDS series features THE PAELLAS, a 4-piece from Osaka whose alluring musical sketches seek to revive a scent of ‘dream-pop’ in the Japanese music scene.

The sounds they produce fall neatly between the propulsive nature of rock and indie music and the atmospheric textures of ambient dream pop. ‘Long Night Comes’ and its twangy guitar lines, intimate drum line, cloudy lo-fi vocal atmosphere and embracement of ‘wall of sound’ qualities allies a bright surf pop sensibility and the intricate textural scoring that lean towards shoegaze, ambient and psychedelic styles.

The most impressive thing about the quartet is their capacity to create music that evolves through a myriad of atmospheres and styles within the time constraints of conventional popular music tunes. ‘Sugar’ is a vivid sonic sketch that mingles in a cosmopolitan musical habitat: The sparse introduction from a ‘water drop-like’ soundscape, mellow guitar phrases and friendly dance beat is washed into a twilight world, dictated by the whispering, lugubrious vocals and blurry synth layers.

Occasionally THE PAELLAS unleash a surprising splash of sonic colour on their musical postcard. ‘Cat Out’ and ‘Hold on Tight’ navigate the listener to the dancefloor with its infectious foot-tapping drumbeat and radiant synth pads. While the vocals in ‘Cat Out’ have made a transition from its lo-fi character, they sustain that somewhat erotic, introverted nature of the vocal timbre, infusing a mysterious, illusionary sensation into the nucleus of this upbeat dance vibe. Similarly, ‘Hold on Tight’ and its squelchy bass line, luminous synth pads and sedative voice line conveys a similar impression that draws resemblances to the electronic world of the Pet Shop Boys.

Wandering through the musical archipelago of THE PAELLAS, and the roster of talent from DEAD FUNNY RECORDS has been useful in looking at new interpretations of alternative rock music from outside of its roots, and an electrifying experience in discovering the newest, most imaginative and distinctive bands and artists, as they are just setting the tone for their future endeavours.

Other Listening:

  • Following (EP)
  • Long Night is Gone (Album)

© Isaku Takahashi