Aya Gloomy「TOKYO HAKAI」──The tale of a tough girl landing in a devastated TOKYO

Aya Gloomy「TOKYO HAKAI」──The tale of a tough girl landing in a devastated TOKYO

We live in an era where every step is unsteady. Where we are running around in confusion frightened by an unknown virus, deluded by uncertain information, looking at a small device all day. Capturing brilliantly the unique atmosphere of these odd times, Aya Gloomy's second album "TOKYO HAKAI" shines with a bewildering glow.

Aya Gloomy has been well-known for quite a while as a fashion model and influencer, but it's the release of her self-produced debut album "Riku no Kotô" which eventually displayed her music abilities to the world.
Since then, her eccentric poppy electro music, combining a retro synth sound and detached vocals on a minimal loop, has been attracting attention in her own country Japan and all over the world.

"TOKYO HAKAI", released 3 years after her previous album and equally self-produced, opens up with the enveloping and uneasy atmosphere of "二〇二〇 〜 2020". On a mechanical-sounding track, the recorded voice of a newscaster announces the organization of the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. A poetry reading follows, starting with the puzzling sentence "The destruction of Tokyo has begun". The next track, "Work World", emphasizes the will of the narrator to become tough in order to survive in a decadent society. Both songs undeniably reflect the situation and the mood surrounding the Japanese capital in the year 2020.

Tokyo seen through the eyes of Aya Gloomy, however, appears to be way more colorful and exhilarating than the plain reality. It radiates the same energy, chaotic and impenetrable, as "NEO TOKYO", the city depicted in the comics AKIRA, written by Katsuhiro Otomo, or as the megalopolis from the movie "Blade Runner".

In this opus, Aya Gloomy also makes the most of her Asian traditional music heritage, as can be noticed in "Kodou", with the use of a sound very similar to the Japanese instrument called koto, or with the pentatonic scale of "DenEn". Fusing them into her own music in an unusual way, she draws the picture of a cityscape tainted with a tad of nostalgia. A place which feels like it could exist somewhere, but can be found nowhere. And there, Aya Gloomy, confused at times but always full of determination and courage, will survive. And she will surely do it singing her funny songs, in the intonation which is so peculiar to her.

Where will it head to, this story of Aya Gloomy which started with destruction ? In 2021, the unstable days go on. And when the album ends and leaves a blank page to continue writing about the future, there is a somewhat dramatic flavor to the aftertaste.

Writer : Reiko Tsuzura


Aya Gloomy "TOKYO HAKAI"
April 28, 2021
Format: Digital

Tracks :
1. 二〇二〇 〜 2020
2. Work World
3. Kodou
4. Saisei
6. Start Again
7. DenEn
8. tick tick
9. Micro Creature
10. Turn Off

Listen here