When it comes to Japanese dream-pop musicians (Cokiyu, Sapphire Slows, Cuushe), sometimes it’s hard to distinguish their sound from one another. There’s a particular formula to the genre–whispery voices floating over twinkling, glitchy electro–that hasn’t really changed much since 2003. But Noah, a new voice in the scene, is changing that. While the foundation of what makes J-electro is still there, she manages to finally drag the genre kicking and screaming into 2015, complete with a fresh r&b/trip-hop sound that conjures FKA Twigs or Jessy Lanza over any of the other Japanese musicians I mentioned. Her appropriately titled 2015 mixtape, Mood, wavers between ghostly hip-hop with an ambient air, while her debut full-length, Sivutie, hints at an even more fully-realized sound.
I haven’t listened to Sivutie yet, but its single, “Flaw,” gives a taste of what to expect. While a slight departure from Mood, “Flaw” shows that Noah is more than willing to take bold new steps outside of what people typically expect from dream pop. And the video ain’t bad either. Double win.