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Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011
Canopies and Drapes "Violet, Lilly, Rose, Daisy" (Love Action)
Special to The Japan Times
The world Canopies And Drapes crafts on her debut EP "Violet, Lilly, Rose, Daisy" feels like a particularly woozy dream, albeit one undercut by the ever-lurking obstacles of reality. The project of Tokyo artist "Chick," her music hasn't always sounded like this — she used to sing for the under-appreciated and now defunct duo Nu Clear Classmate that made distortion-heavy tunes they dubbed "suicide pop," which either sounded delightfully happy or crushingly isolated. Whereas her Nu Clear Classmate material leaned toward extremes, Canopies And Drapes explores lusher territory while tackling more complicated emotions.
The best moments on this EP feel less like do-it-yourself pop and more like detailed short stories. Not to imply a track like opener "Live in the Snow Globe" lacks musical charm — the combination of twinkling keyboards and claustrophobic synths reflect the song's title perfectly. Yet what makes it special is the Haruki Murakami-esque narrative on top. Initially focusing on mundane activities such as eating McDonald's fries and chatting about Aphex Twin, the narrator shifts the focus to her unhealthily obsession with a boy she wants to be "locked in a snow globe" with. "Sleeping Under the Bed" goes down a similar road with its chilly-but-catchy electronics soundtrack that sounds like a standard song of devotion, until the final lines reveal some confusion.
The other two tracks on the EP aren't as lyrically rich, but both highlight the project's sonic side. "Perfect Step" whirs to life with a hip-hop beat before becoming a shimmering whirl of future noises and semi-obscured singing. Closer "Stars In Bloom" is the weakest number here, a shoegazey song that sounds plenty pretty but also comes off as a little too content to start dozing off. It comes off like a relatively pedestrian dream, while the rest of this superb EP adds some sinister shadows to those visions.