In My Eyes: City Pop

Contemporary music that no one knew about is making a surface in the new age of art.

Album cover for Animalism's 'Growing Lights.'

The end of 2018 is only three months away, and moving onto the next year means more advances in technology, social networking, and global issues. However, over the past couple of years, there has been a few trends that have begun to resurface onto the scene with a new generation of listeners (including me) anticipating every finger-licking moment of it; and it's retro. Lofi hip-hop and City Pop are the two most spectaculars that have made its way back into mainstream, as Japan during the 80s was easily overlooked because of how voluminous the US was at the time, City pop never got into a good run, but the history of these two wonderful genres have become one the biggest live stocks in the generation to date as popularity in aesthetics, and K-pop have broken borders in the West, giving the East some credit.

How I Came Across City Pop

Mariya (Maria) Takeuchi's "Plastic Love" EP cover.

If you haven't seen this in your YouTube recommendations, then you're missing out. I was aimlessly looking through my suggestions, late at night, around two in the morning, feeling unrequited and unsettled, as any other college student would feel if they were up late at night in there dorm room and their roommate was gone for the weekend. I had come upon this quite skeptic as the views were really high considering the fact that it seemed noticeably aged, but I clicked on it; nonetheless, I'm glad I did. "Plastic Love" is a song that I may not fully understand, but I was swept in by the disco resonance and the feeling of loneliness and bittersweet taste that was left in my heart by what seemed to be in comparison to Journey's "Open Arms." Sad but it makes me want to hop out of bed and do a little footwork like my mom would do when she was listening to Soul Train. I need more songs like this even though I couldn't much on Apple Music, so I settled for YouTube and SoundCloud. The Summer heartbreak was exactly the kind of vibe I was looking for and I found it in the pop star Mariya Takeuchi, as this seemed to deemed the best pop song by Noisey (A Vice Company), and I believed it too. 

Because of the feelings I had while listening to "Plastic Love," I went on an adventure through the world of City Pop, the era in which the economy in Japan was bustling and the remains of a distant treachery was far away; still embedded in their minds. I quickly found one of my favorite songs "SUMMER CONNECTION" by Taeko Ohnuki, who released it in the late 70s with her astounding album SunshowerTo experience such new things that released so long ago created dreams of driving through a city of bright lights in the purple and I wanted to build something so beautiful into my life. I wanted more to satisfy the melancholy that lingered with me in the nights, and the surprised only awaited one click away.

What Lofi Is and Why It's Doing Everything Right

Edit by the bootleg boy

If you love R&B and everything 90s as much as I do, you'll love Lofi music. Lofi is a combination of jazz and house, with snippets of nostalgia media, mostly infamous one-liners from old shows and movies, and even some of your favorite hip-hop and rap legends (Yes a lot of B.I.G. and Tupac). Most of the songs are created by people on the music platform of SoundCloud and YouTube, but many emerging artist like Joji have started out making unique beats for the genre. The origin of it's reappearance is very similar to City Pop, but was more of a meme before it was taken seriously. Vaporwave for example, the famous MACINTOSH PLUS, which settled into more of a aesthetic meme than others, has made a path for such an astounding range of feelings. I recommend this to anyone who love to relax, study, or simply drive late at night and think to themselves often.