EMERALD FOUR: “Love Labyrinth”

When it comes to Japanese bedroom pop, its biggest weakness is that many of the most prominent musicians from the scene (Sapphire Slows, Cuushe, Cokiyu) sound too similar. For a scene that’s more than a decade old, sometimes the whispery-little-girl-voice-over-repetitive-beats gets a little redundant–and I say that as a fan. As for Emerald Four, I don’t know much about them. After accidentally stumbling across them while clicking through a Soundcloud rabbit hole, I was taken aback by their sound. While harnessing many of the same conventions of the genre, their catalog shows a surprising amount of variety–from the Passion Pit-like “Flying Golden Dragon” to the Grimes-inspired “Ten Ten.”

Their most recent EP, Nothing Can Hurt Me, shows the band going in a quieter, more introverted direction. Lead single “Love Labyrinth” is a twinkly track that might come across as overly dense to some but packs a surprising amount of emotional depth (on Soundcloud the song is tagged as “SAD LOVE SONG”). You can download the entire EP for free from Tanukineiri Records.

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