Japan values youth to a frightening level that would probably make America blush if a country could do such a thing. From a glut of TVs/movies focusing on “coming of age” to the schoolgirl fascination (does the panty vending machine exist? Does it matter? How does AKB48 fit into this?), its clear this country truly values the earlier times in one’s life. There exists many musicians who offer a significantly less creepy take on childhood, treating it less like something to be gawked at and rather as a feeling, something that doesn’t have to slip away if you know how to summon it. Three-Berry Ice Cream and Lullatone do this with ease, as do Acoustic Soft Parade. Using simple, bossa-nova tinged sounds, ASP make minimal indie-pop that’s sometimes directly about cats but always seems to be evoking the simpleness of kid-dom. It’s cute but not disgustingly so, the equivalent of getting off a grueling 15-hour workday and buying an ice cream sandwich for a simple retreat. Drift away here.
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