One thing I love about Asian pop is how singles are usually timed to coincide with the current season. Western music does it too, but they don’t put in any effort beyond “This song is upbeat, so let’s release it when the weather’s warmer.”
K-pop and J-pop go all out, not only matching the sound to the season, but also the fashion, music video, lyrics, and sometimes even the title.
Japan’s Dempagumi.Inc are committed to the summer concept with their latest single, “Otsukare Summer!,” which features board shorts, beaches, and some kind of lasso bathing suit choreography.
The group’s manic brand of pachinko-pop can be abrasive at times, but it feels right at home in the context of a big summer single. Their madcap energy makes you want to run outside into the beaming sunshine and find something exciting to do. It’s just so much fun.
I was going to say that the song is also a welcome (and much weirder) alternative to AKB48’s annual bikini-clad summer single, but the girls finally scrapped that this year and released some strange dystopian sci-fi thing instead. (Regardless, it wasn’t very good.)
“Otsukare Summer!” officially hits stores in Japan on the 16th. The b-side is Dempagumi’s new Hello Kitty collaboration, which you might want to check out too.