American electronic artist Slushii wears his interest in Japanese pop culture clearly. Whereas many other Western acts sometimes dabble in some katakana dusting and call it a day, Slushii (real name Julian Scanlan) works Japanese samples and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu in sets, and shares anime opinions on social media accounts. Now he’s taking his interest in the country to another step with “Calling Out To You.” This song finds him collaborating with a Japanese artist for the first time ever, which in this case is Miku Nakamura of the rock band Cö shu Nie. The song aims for some huge drama, featuring soaring vocals from both involved parties. Listen to it below.
Some quick background on Nakamura; she’s the lead vocalist and a multi-instrumentalist in the Osaka-born band Cö shu Nie, known for their dizzying take on rock. Most notably, the group provided the theme song for the anime Tokyo Ghoul : re. That number stands as their biggest hit to date, gaining looks at home and also abroad.
“I knew Miku from her anime work with Cö Shu Nie, so getting to work with her on something was something I was excited about,” Slushii says in the official press release for “Calling Out To You.” “The song started out as an idea that I just had worked on for fun, and when Miku heard it and added her vocals, the song really came together in a beautiful way.”
The end number goes big. “Calling Out To You” plays out like a J-pop ballad written for the Ultra mainstage, featuring a sustained build finding Slushii and Nakamura taking turns delivering end-credit-worthy vocals. They frequently tease some sort of release — whether that be the singing shooting up another register or an EDM drop waiting to blow everything away — but wisely just keep letting it build. “Calling Out To You” offers no ending or diversion, just sustained tension fading out. That’s far more powerful, and makes this collab a winner.