I loved Especia‘s Primera EP, but it didn’t have the same lasting impact that last year’s Gusto did. Patrick from MB Melodies summed up some of my thoughts on the album (namely the eight-minute lead single…), but I’ll add that I found Primera a little dark.

Don’t get me wrong, I live for dark and depressing. My sole criticism of Woody Allen’s bleak Blue Jasmine was that it wasn’t dark enough. Holden Caulfield was a childhood hero of mine and I related to Seinfeld so much that it wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized that the characters were actually cynical self-centered bastards and not just a realistic portrayal of how I and everybody else views the world. But Primera was mostly an album I played at night, in quiet, introspective moments, whereas Gusto (specifically “No 1 Sweeper”) was like an instant injection of rainbows and sunshine that turned me from Elaine Benes to Cameron Crowe (not necessarily a good thing but you get what I’m saying).

Also, on a more superficial level, Gusto just had bigger, shinier hooks.

Especia’s new single, the double A-side “Aviator / Boogie Aroma,” feels like a return to the glory of Gusto. It’s perfect timing too since Japan’s smack bang in the middle of summer right now.

“Aviator” is my fave because the chorus takes me to the heavens above, but the sunny “Boogie Aroma” is packed full of charm too. Judging by the deodorant commercial MV, I’m assuming that Especia’s singing about working up a stinky sweat from going HAM at the disco all night, and what’s not to love about that?

The physical single drops July 22. You can check out some live club performances below.

  • haha how cute music is subjective. although i do agree that primera is kinda gloomy, it’s been one of my favorite feel good albums. i mostly listen to it while i’m driving during errands and i’m always singing the songs out loud in traffic – aka chocking people around me with my crazy steering wheel lip-synching.

    now to the important things: where can i download “gusto”?

    • I find it really melancholy except a couple of songs, but in a good way. It’s just I really enjoy their super feel-good songs coz that’s what introduced me to them I guess.

      I can’t remember where I found Gusto but it was hard to find at the time tbh

      • the only thing i found by them from my sources was especia, you should upload gusto for me in praise of my dedication to you! lol


        • Okay boo, remind me on Twitter later!

  • Laurence Nope

    Especia could literally sell me overpriced obsolete electronics for real so why don’t they? I thought one of the benefits of a major label was the commercial deals.

    By the way, I love this:


  • KingBeaArthur

    Both of those PVs were absolutely brilliant. I am in complete love with “Aviator”!

  • Finally took a listen to all these, and my heart is exploding. I need to explore jpop more; so many interesting soundscapes. TBH I always preferred the glossiness of kpop, and while I have been loving the releases this year, nothing has floored me (well, except Shinee). Especia, and other artists I am digging through at the moment, are capturing my attention more.

  • Darwin

    Are they supposed to be referencing Spanish words?
    Especia = spica
    gusto = like, but it has other meanings
    primera = first (female version)….

    or is this a coincidence?