Tag Archives: Give Me Wallets

Top 20 Releases of 2012: No.12 – Give Me Wallets – Breathless


CD, VLS, 2012

While some elements of the indie scene strive meticulously to recreate the authentic sounds of past generations and others, while embracing electronic music, prefer to explore the lo-fi sounds of bedroom production, it’s sometimes refreshing to come across a band who with a sound so wholeheartedly, gorgeously rich. Similar to contemporaries like Nile Long, Give Me Wallets are undoubtedly influenced by 80s synth pop, but are proudly modern in their application of technology, with key instruments being the iPhone and Macbook — let’s call it, for the sake of argument, Applecore (sorry).

With the Breathless EP, Give Me Wallets seem to strut about like a Japanese Cut Copy, all nostalgic, longing, melancholy chords over joyous dance beats and smooth funk, sunglasses at night to protect their eyes from the glare of the city’s neon, Tokyo as a fairytale dreamland visible only in the light of strobes and glitterballs. Every one of the three songs on Breathless is a lovingly crafted piece of sentimental dance-pop, slickly produced and bright like neon love on a hot summer night, from the arms-in-the-air chorus of Sparks to the cascading synth intro of Everything With You to the squelchy disco-funk underlying Optimistic. Give Me Wallets have been growing steadily over the past few years and with Breathless they seem to have finally emerged from the shadows and revealed themselves as a force to reckon with in Japanese indie-dance, who if they play it right, could have one of the albums of the year under their belt in 2013.

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Preview: Kiwa Kiwa Festival

This Saturday, new Japanese indie music web site Kiwa Kiwa is organising a music festival at Club Asia and I previewed it for The Japan Times. Over on this blog I focus mostly on the leftfield extremes and the poppier idol music extremes and generally avoid the kinds of indie bands that are actually popular. The main reason for this isn’t that most of them are shit so much as that most of them are just OK. If I ever think of something interesting to say about Buffalo 3, I’ll say it, but that’s not going to happen until they stop sounding like a kind of dead-end Hoxton indie band circa 2004.

What’s interesting about this event is that I think it does do a good job of laying out a map of what the Tokyo indie scene sounds like in the year 2012 that’s free of the art-punk snobbery of people like me or the chillwave/beach pop fetishism of other aspects of the indie scene. That stuff maybe important creatively, but none of it is really that important to audiences at this time. There are good bands like Uhnellys, Africaemo, Vola & The Oriental Machine, Give Me Wallets and Nile Long at Kiwa Kiwa Festival, but more than that, it’s a good summation of what’s happening in the real world of Tokyo indie.

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