Happy Kuru Kuru is exactly what would happen if Ayumi Hamasaki from 2008-2013ish would have a love child with a Vocaloid producer. It’s the happiest, delightful ray of J-Pop sunshine crammed with electronica explosions, cute vocals and loads of mini riffs.
Across the seven tracks, we are treated to pure sugar rushes of glee. “Perfect Tapper” has a thumping beat, heavy bass lines and koto riffs whilst “Natsu no Hi no Labyrinth” is like Do As Infinity made a JRPG theme song. Whilst Happy Kuru Kuru uses real vocals and not computerised ones, the way they create music has a fairground synth-pop feel to it. Every track has some kind of string arrangement and that cute orchestral feel with bells, chimes pizzicato cuteness. Each track has a thumping beat with “Sayonara Cricket”‘s being the huge drum n bass number. It’s catchy beyond belief, whilst “Sky Shooter” is more techno infused with a more dramatic militant string arrangement in the verses before anime opening theme styled choruses. “Kuru Kuru Fantasy” is Eurovision ready, whilst “Magical Girl” and “Hanbuko Girl” both uphold the anime opening vibes with complex, highly produced melodies with toy pianos and guiro scrappers.
There’s tons of J-Pop out there that goes for this type of feeling but the reason I wanted to highlight Happy Kuru Kuru is that they bring out the dance floor throb bigger and better than most other artists but not at the expense of catchy riffs and layer after layer of instruments. It may not be a music genre you love, but you’ll appreciate as a musician just how much is going on in the mix. Impressive, delightful – this debut album is an explosive rainbow of joy. Perfect for summer.
Recommended track: Sayonara Cricket