Picks of the Week #21

  • DATS – ‘Mobile’

Laden with vintage 90s colours, electro-pop and euro dance beats, ‘Mobile’ by DATS is a refreshing track that can rejuvenate any drained senses in my body. The song surfs the same sonic wavelengths of recent British bands like The 1975 and Disclosure with the quartet’s youthful vocals and the radiant spectrum of synths and beats that penetrate the listener’s eardrums.

  • AAA – ‘Jewel’

While finding hidden gems in the Japanese music scene is important to me, I also enjoy the odd sugar-coated J-pop number, including ‘Jewel’ by the female duo 宇野美彩子 Uno Misako and 伊藤千晃 Ito Chiaki from AAA. This infectious electro-pop tune filled with chic synth colours, seductive vocoder-shaded vocals and bouncing beats features in their latest album WAY OF GLORY, and marks the final chapter of Ito’s journey with AAA as she leaves at the end of March after announcing her pregnancy. Listen to more AAA in my blog posts here.

New York City’ by Tempalay is an absorbing and hypnotic number that may well put listeners in a blissful trance. From the opening perpetual chords to the spellbinding sonic colours that meander throughout the stereo field in serpentine fashion, the band’s signature psychedelic-rock personality comes to full bloom in this beguiling track. ‘New York City’ features in their latest EP 5曲 Gokyoku (‘Five Tracks’). Listen and find out more about Tempalay in my blog posts here.

© Isaku Takahashi

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New Japanese Vibes (75) – Tempalay ‘Festival’

Back in March this year, psychedelic pop-rock band Tempalay flew across the Atlantic and toured around America for eight shows including at the annual SXSW Festival in Texas. Their new music video for ‘Festival’ recaps their experiences across the pond. Married with a rich sonic cacophony of wistful vocals, laser-coloured synths, clamorous drums and raspy yet jingling guitars, one can indulge in an enchanting musical and visual experience.

Other Info/Context

  • Tempalay’s analogue LP version of their debut album from JAPAN will be released on August 31st.
  • Listen to more Tempalay in my blog post here.

© Isaku Takahashi

New Japanese Vibes (22) – Tempalay ‘made in Japan’

Tempalay’s new track ‘made in Japan’ is a puzzling experience, intoxicating one’s eyes and ears with a music video and a dazzling sonic world that speaks to both the human and extra-terrestrial.

The tangled harmonic progressions, the collage of musical flavours (including a Sun Ra-esque trumpet solo that stands out just before the final chorus) and a quirky vocal melody that wanders like a drunken person trigger the narcotic sensation one gets from this track. However, within the strange façade is a chorus enjoying a smooth summery vibe weaved with surf rock guitar sonorities, and an Erykah Badu-like psychedelic soul ambience permeating the track.

Other Info/Context

  • made in Japan’ features in Tempalay’s debut album from JAPAN, due to be released on January 6th.

© Isaku Takahashi