Safekeeping: Autumn 2017

Leftovers of new releases from September to November, featuring Elris, EXID and more

This series is starting to become some sort of a late-pass idol watch column. If it helps you get updated on that kind of music, I’m glad to be of help. As always, I’m just here trying to archive my favorite 2017 songs from the past few months. It just so happens my fix during autumn was heavy on that kind of stuff. Though really, who am I kidding to say it’s not what has been on constant rotation all year?

Here are 9 songs from 2017 I liked from September to November that I didn’t get to cover anywhere:

Carpainter: “Changeling Life”

Returning (Trekkie Trax)

Shiny surfaces were expected from Trekkie Trax’s star producer. Though instead of the criss-cross of juke, he looked back at warehouse drum ’n’ bass to give a preview for what he has in stores for his solid full-length, Returning. The little ticks still remain, but he works towards something bigger than usual.

CHAI: “N.E.O.”

Pink (Sony)

The garage-rock four piece are proudly rambunctious for their single off their great major-label debut, Pink. The shout-out-loud chorus should immediately prove that point: “You! Are! So cute! Nice face! C’mon, yeah!” Tongue in cheek? Perhaps initially, but follow the rest of the ride, and it’s only the perfect summation for their heavy appetite.

Elris: “You and I”

We, First (Hunus)

I blame my initial indifference to Elris from over-saturation of new idol releases also working with similar aesthetics: Oh My Girl’s “Coloring Book,” Pristin’s “Wee Woo,” and WJSN’s “Happy” are all singles I lump together during the time I checked out Elris’s “We, First.” But of course friends are there to remind what I missed, and so they bring me the group’s breezy attempt at samba — a much different side from them than I expected.

EXID: “Too Good to Me”

Full Moon (BANANA)

The bass- and attitude-heavy “DDD” did fine as the single of their latest mini album, Full Moon, though its familiar sound reminiscent of the Street singles seemed too safe. Just one song over in the album was “Too Good to Me,” a more exciting song which takes cues from early 2000s R&B, where it also flirted with the slink of UK 2-step.

Passcode: “Bite the Bullet”

Zenith (Universal Music Japan)

Passcode channels the hyper-energetic thrust of idol pop into synth-charged metalcore, the voice and all. The sound may be a novelty of a certain taste, especially for those who remember a time maybe almost a decade back when some strands of internet-bred pop-punk took like influences — Enter Shikari, anyone? But it also admittedly scratches a particular itch of fidgety breakdowns, both synths and guitars, as well as life-affirming earnestness.

She Is Summer: “Deattekara Tsukiaumadeno Ano Kanji”

Water (Being, Inc.)

There really isn’t an exact word for it, is there? MICO yearns to return to that very specific phase in her relationship referenced in the title: “that feeling between the time we met and we started going out.” Shiny and bubbly as the throwback funk seems, frustration drives the single with her trying her best to get out of her rut of complacency.

Tokyo Girls’ Style: “Mille Feuille”

Period Best: Kimete Iiyo Watashino Koto (Avex Trax)

2017 saw Tokyo Girls’ Style take on a few trendy styles in dance-pop abroad to great results. “Predawn” adopted a vocal-bending drop a la DJ Snake, and “Water Lily ~Suiren~” took from the books of Justin Bieber’s Purpose. The big-room dance “Mille Feuille,” meanwhile, may be more domestically sourced, those dubstep wobbles notwithstanding.

w-inds: “Complicated”

Invisible (Flight Master)

Who knew w-inds would start conversation in 2017? The boy band has been kicking since 2000, though they’ve settled into a comfortable status since. But this year, the three put out amazing new songs utilizing water-drop plucks, woodblocks and other balmy sounds inspired by Kygo. The vocal hiccup of the lead single “We Don’t Need to Talk Anymore” was infectious, and there’s more where that came from. Case in point: “Complicated.”

Sayaka Yamamoto: “Joker”

Identity (Laugh Out Loud)

The former NMB48 leader’s latest rock number ambitiously aims to recreate the blissful sensation of losing yourself completely in someone else. The titular pun turns out to be an on-point word choice to sum up the feeling, and the music imagines it even better. Mimicking a fluttering heartbeat, the strings and guitars take the song up and only up.

Want more? Here you go:

  • DADARAY: “Breeze in Me”
  • Hyolyn x Changmo: “Blue Moon”
  • Lovelyz: “Triangle”
  • Odd Eye Circle: “Sweet Crazy Love”
  • Playback: “Untold Story”
  • Young Dolph: “But I’m Bulletproof”
  • Yunomi & nicomiq: “Yunomiq ni Ochashite”




music, etc.

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Ryo Miyauchi

Ryo Miyauchi

music, etc.

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