SARI – Paraiso

Dreamy, psychedelic Sari: the alt-pop soloist continues her mystical, musical journey with her new single Paraiso.

SARI has had quite the interesting musical career, something definitely worth watching as she blossomed into a shining soloist, releasing singles, EPs and hosting live shows in her wake (with one just recently in Sweden!). Today’s single review will be documenting just that from her November 6th release, Paraiso.

The song opens with a mixture of trippy synth and SARI’s soft, pleasant vocal harmony. Her tone takes on a light and softer touch throughout the track, melding well with the blips of digitalization, piano and dream pop soundscapes. The feeling of the track reminds me a lot of Blank Banshee’s most recent album Gaia in a way, with the natural imagery of the single’s artwork and the chill vibe. The vocal layering is great as well, I feel like it really helps bring in the experimental direction of the song particularly in the chorus with the different lines coming together. There’s a brief section of guitar and a cool, snazzy bassline that comes in at the last minute of the song. It’s a pretty quick listen though, coming in at just short of 3 minutes (2:49 total). However, it’s pleasant nonetheless.

Since we’re only covering one single today, this review is brief, and I tried my best to really get in my thoughts on the track based on the notes I wrote. I’m hoping we get another EP, or better yet an album, from SARI soon. Her solo career has been one of my favorites when it comes to idols I like thanks to her unique sound and visuals. The next review, however, will be a pretty big one, so I’ll see you all then!

HO6LA – Pirikarira

HO6LA

A new challenger approaches… Meet the newest Ichigo Rinahamu unit HO6LA through their debut EP Pirikarira!

For those out of the loop, Ichigo Rinahamu (previously known as Yokoyama Rina) has a pretty extensive idol and producing history under her belt. Previously part of BiS’ first generation and the iconic electronic group CY8ER (of which she was a member and producer), she also produced groups like DOPING BERRY and STRAWBERRY SYNDROME. She’s got her own solo DJ project, Hamrig, and sometimes releases solo music under the name rinahamu. Earlier this year, she put her producing goggles on once more when she announced she’d be forming another group, this time featuring fellow ex-WACK company idol Oosshouji Megumi, now known as Pan Luna Leafy, who was part of BiS’ second generation. After opening auditions and an extensive 24 hour training camp (a la WACK’s own audition process), five more members were selected: Wannyan Circuit DX! (formerly known as Miyagumi Shiou), Hachimitsu Umi (another ex-WACK idol, previously a member of PIGGs), Wazurai (formerly Himekuri Koyomi), Emiru (formerly Kanemoto/Kamimura Emiru) and Kusunoki Roa as leader; together, they are HO6LA, pronounced homura. They made their live debut September 21th and released their debut EP, Pirikarira, on October 26th. Let’s dig in!

The EP contains six tracks total, with three being full songs and the final three being instrumentals. “Pirikarira”, the title track, opens with a bouncy and happy electronic beat. Each member rotates through the verses up into the pre-chorus, diving into an explosively bubbly instrumental chorus section. Each girl has her own unique vocal color as well, which will help in time to tell who’s doing what. After a low-tempo second verse there’s a hard hitting drop section around the 1:55 mark that melts right into the bright and cheery sound from before. The chorus is fun and the beat ends up being quite the earworm after a while. Overall, it’s a solid introduction for what’s to come and an effective great EP opener.

“Tokyo My Way” opens with the strumming of zither, punchy drum beats and bass, signaling a vibe change from the last track. Though the chorus feels a little more subdued, the overall feeling of the song is a bit more aggressive from the last one in the vocal delivery and tempo — the heavy bass throughout really drives this feeling home. It feels like the kind of song that’s absolutely meant to be played in clubs and at live shows, just waiting for the audience to feel the beat in their bones. Over the course of my listening, I found myself nodding my head to this one a lot, so it’s definitely going down as a favorite.

“Time Capsule Girl” is the final track. It opens with the sounds of someone winding up and playing a music box into a sweet dream pop-like melody. The EDM vibes soon take over for the chorus (which all follow a similar pattern throughout the three songs), reminding me a bit of Shawn Wasabi’s works. This track feels like a mixture of the first two: the cute, dreamy elements of Pirikarira and the traditional instrumentation of Tokyo My Way coming together to wrap up the EP in a nice little bow. The vocal delivery is consistent with great bits of harmonization here and there. The same music box that opened the track also makes its way back to close everything out.

Pirikarira is a fun journey into HO6LA‘s world as a display of sparkling EDM pop. As the year comes to a close and the weather gets colder this is a quick listen to get you right and warmed up, looking forward to the feeling of spring and summer.


SINGLES COLLECTION #1: MAMESHiBA No TAiGUN, #babababambi, Solaris In The Rain

SINGLES COLLECTION #1: MAMESHiBA No TAiGUN, #babababambi, Solaris In The Rain

Let’s take a look at the newest singles from three groups, released within this month: MAMESHiBA No TAiGUN, #babababambi, Solaris In The Rain.

Although it’s a rather new approach, I’ve really been feeling this singles roundup we’ve got going on as the idol world is always buzzing with new music to check out. This time with the help of Apple Music’s IDOL POP playlist, I managed to find some sparkly new singles from three groups for your consideration: MAMESHiBA No TAiGUN, one of the three WACK units signed under Avex; #babababambi, who’ve been putting in some serious work throughout the pandemic; and Solaris In The Rain, a brand new group that worked alongside Vocaloid P-123 for their most recent release. Let’s dig in!

MAMESHiBA No TAiGUN – KiNOU WA MODORANAi

First up is “KiNOU WA MODORANAi” from MAMESHiBA No TAiGUN, released on October 4th. The song opens quite dramatically with a chorus of chants from the members and a sweeping orchestral background, setting the stage for a more emotionally powerful tune. Alongside the girls singing with force and enthusiasm, it’s a very straightforward song expressing hope and cheerfulness with high flying string instruments and a little bit of guitar here and there. That simplicity helps in getting the job done. (Also note: This is not the track they worked on with Yuki Reysole, that’s slated for release in late November alongside her other WACK collabs).


#babababambi – Minority

The second is “Minority” from #babababambi, also released on the 4th. These girls debuted back in March of 2020 as a five piece band and have since acquired two new members. Despite their softer image this song is arguably the most aggressive track on here (literally had my eyes going wide as soon as I heard that intro). It begins with a flurry of piano notes and electric guitar that come together to make a dark atmosphere that bleeds into the verses. The choruses are a bit lighter and upbeat with the tinkling piano keys adding the right touch of beauty through it all. The section at the 2:00 mark is rife with strong vocal displays as the girls sing their hearts out; a quick change in sound at 2:32 and a key change for the final chorus at 2:54 all lead to an exhilarating end. I just might have to go back into the rest of their catalogue if they like to dabble in this type of sound.


Solaris In The Rain – I Think So, If Anything.

Our third and final single is “I Think So, If Anything.” by Solaris In The Rain, a five member group that worked alongside P-123 for this track (as a matter of fact, the original demo version is included in this release), released on the 12th. The song is light and airy with simple guitar riffing, drum, piano and the occasional plucking of strings throughout. The vocals are sweet and soft, the chorus is fun with it’s energetic pop rock influence, and much like our first single there’s no special twists or turns but just a relaxing, enjoyable tune. On the included demo track, the vocal synth Hifumi is featured.


That just about does it for our singles roundup! Also, please don’t think I’m being judgemental or harsh with describing songs as simple and to-the-point; though I’m a fan of more aggressive forms of music (idols included), I do feel that songs like these are fine as is and sometimes that musical simplicity is actually quite necessary. It’s a similar feeling I share with metal: we don’t all need to be playing eight stringed guitars and doing blast beats at 300bpm for something to be good. I’m looking forward to doing more of these single reviews since there’s a lot more out there to search for (and it’s fun keeping an eye out for releases between EP and album drops).

1 2 3 19