About two weeks ago, Tokyo’s Shortcake Collage Tape posted a song called “Polaroid Full Of Kisses” that ended up being a far more craftly bit of indie-pop to pin down than the name implied. It was a fuzzy memory of a song, vocals ripped from anime and sampled flute dropped into a woozy downtempo gunk. It was a nice reminder that, while tons of young Japanese artists take to Soundcloud armed with rollicking guitar and a deep knowledge of the Sarah Records catalog, plenty of indie-pop kids are capable of adding crinkles to the sunny formula. Count Osaka’s Stuck In Summer alongside Shortcake and OMEGABOY as a project refusing to be straight-up cardigan rock – “Summer Time’s Gone” opens with an aged sample that sounds like some sort of 80’s surf-bro movie, a technique that also opened up fellow Osaka group Ice Cream Shout’s 2010 song “Tattooed Tears.” Once the dudes drop back, the song reveals itself to be a mix of bouncy synth-pop and more straightforward indie-pop…see, the vocals…with a few diversions into more dusty sampling down the line. Stuck In Summer come off as trying to recreate the smirk-bearing pop of Swedish acts like The Tough Alliance or (especially) The Embassy, but even if you don’t want to try to read lips “Summer Time’s Gone” a nice variation on the great kawaii-pop explosion of 2012. Listen below.
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