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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

News - Kaguya

When I start investigating something, I get borderline obsessive. It's my favorite time as a music fan. It's like unlocking a new level in a game. It was like that when I first started delving into the world of K-Pop (a world I am extremely confident in navigating nowadays). Over the past week or so, I finally made the leap to J-Pop. I already posted a track by Kat-Tun last week, which is one of two groups that I've been fawning over. Now I feel compelled to post this one from News, which is a senior group on the same label as Kat-Tun. Now, the music video is quite something. I don't *think* it's meant to be funny, but I find it fascinating that the director (or the artists?) determined that this kind of posing and wardrobe would be "sexy." It's incredibly effeminate for sure, which is actually totally awesome but a bit jarring to the Western eye. I know that the song is based on a Japanese folktale about a princess, so maybe that has something to do with it. The track itself is epic, though. The jackhammer chorus, coupled with the incredibly bombastic production, has been lodged in my head for days now. It could easily become the first true J-Pop song to find its way onto my end-of-year countdown come December. (And let's be honest, as awkward as it is, the music video is kind of addictively strange).

**No posts for the next week because, speaking of K-Pop, I'll be enjoying two nights of concerts in L.A. at KCON! (I'll make sure to report back)

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Monday, July 27, 2015

Robyn - Set Me Free

Robyn is back with a new EP (finally!) early next month. It's another collaboration, this time with La Bagatelle Magique, a band of sorts that she has gathered to help her set the sound of her new material. I wasn't a huge fan of the first teaser track we got, but Set Me Free is much more in line with the Robyn I've come to know and love. A tad repetitive perhaps, but it's definitely got that quirky, swirling 80's electropop vibe that characterizes her best work. What I love so much about Robyn's music is that, barring her first few albums, she doesn't follow any trends. Instead, she blazes her own path and always comes up with something that sounds both current and classic. And even in something as melodically simple as this track, there's always a deep underpinning of emotions in the vocals.