Earlier this year, the elaborately named kiki vivi lily dropped her long-awaited debut album ‘Vivid’ after dropping smaller-scale releases for a few years. Our in house take on the album was that it successfully presented laid back yet charismatic songs that drew from a variety of different styles and influences. In the past, she’s played around with everything from hip-hop style production to full-on city pop revival sounds. Now she’s back with a collaborative track after once again teaming up with producer and singer SUKISHA on the delightful ‘Pink Jewelry Dream’. The track blends multiple retro influences like funk and house for another chilled out pop joint.
Sukisha and kiki vivi lily usher in the good vibes right at the start. A medley of soft guitar, pleasant vocals, and a light drum beat come together for an instant feel-good jam that really begins to pop off with the synth blobs and keys start to hit. You got some funky bass sounds, a killer piano solo, and even some fun vocal sampling that all ‘Pink Jewelry Dream’ some pep. It’s definitely another track to add to the summer playlist in a similar vein as the new Wonk EP or Kan Sano.
You could probably write a giant essay on why so many Japanese artists are delving into retro-sounds recently. As older Japanese music has become in vogue on an international scale, you can’t blame younger artists like SUKISHA and kiki vivi lily for trying to incorporate these sonic stylings into their work. Whether it’s a natural evolution via their influences or intentional decisions to delve into these popular trends, some of the results have been pretty good so I’m not complaining. I’m wondering though when the J-pop zeitgeist at large will move on any time soon or if as we hit 2020 artists will continue looking towards the past for inspiration.