This week’s pickup for The Guardian’s music from around the world guest blogging series is from a much-loved duo who are leaving us with so much unfulfilled potential.Puffyshoes: Goodbye to You
The joy you get listening to Puffyshoes is always tinged with an edge of frustration at all the could’ve beens in their career. For all their fiercely lo-fi ethos, their songwriting has an undeniable power to make people swoon, lovestruck, and yet they’ve never quite been able to capitalise on the goodwill their charm and sweet, sweet tunes have brought them in the Tokyo indie scene through which they have for the past few years drifted like ghosts. The announcement that their newly released cassette album will be their last gives an extra bite to the 60s girl group melancholy of songs like Goodbye to You.
A lot of bands (the Vivian Girls have obvious parallels here) use the aesthetics of lo-fi and indie fanzine culture, and as mainstream pop music becomes ever more corporatised and alien, the appeal of something more wilfully down-to-earth in its production values and tunesmithery is obvious, but with Puffyshoes, you get the sense that it goes deeper: that the band exists as a kind of window into a faintly dysfunctional private world, like the “Fourth World” of Pauline Parker and Juliet Hulme in Peter Jackson’s “Heavenly Creatures”. In that sense, the goodbye that the duo bid in this song could be read as both a heartwrenching farewell to each other, and to a future that they deserved but never seemed to really want.