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Weekly Bullet Reviews

February 20, 2024 — Weekly Bullet Reviews


Whoops! Last week was so busy over here that we forgot to publish this until today. Check out our weekly bullet reviews from last week. -Li-Wei

Special thanks to Justin Ricafort for contributing this week.

Some ground rules:

  • These songs are listed in no particular order.
  • Anything released from the past 3 weeks/month is eligible for a bullet review.

Bodysync – “Birds”

Justin: Is this a B-side off of Jet Set Radio? The wobbling bird calls, chirps, and tweets on this track are so instantly and intensely inescapable that a disclaimer is almost necessary. High tempo, sugary to all hell, and captivating, Bodysync has somehow produced what a bird mating ritual must physically feel like. Watch the video on your next morning toilet.

Li-Wei: I’ve never watched or listened to Rio the movie, but this song encapsulates what I imagine it would sound like if you crossed the film’s general aesthetic with the Six Flags theme song. Bodysync (the duo side-project of Ryan Hemsworth and Charlie Yin of Giraffage) can, at this point, make a dance song out of anything. Layers and layers of birdsong come together to power this magical dance number that’ll make even the most serious ornithologists want to bust a move.

Peach Luffe – “Honeybee”

Justin: Accomplishes a classic, glowing sensation somewhere between Ginger Root, Jay Som, and Mac DeMarco. It’s a laid back, funky love song and my favorite Peach Luffe track thus far. Proud of Jong for honing in on such a richly woven track oozing with charm.

Li-Wei: First “Honeymoon,” and now “Honeybee?” We’re constantly being blessed by Peach Luffe (Jong Lee)’s suave-guy charm that turns even the saddest of lyrics into a swooning, dreamy ballad. “Honeybee” builds upon airy keys and delicious guitar solos to envelop you in sweet indie pop goodness.

Hikaru Utada – “Naniirodemonai Hana (A Flower of No Color)”

Justin: A poetic, gentle piano piece that sneaks into a R&B infused heartstopper. The accompanying video exacerbates the frigid experience of falling, sinking, and being stuck in love that catches in your throat like a sick frog. Hikaru Utada is a master of lulling us into our own insecurities and this is no exception.

Li-Wei: Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! This one’s just a little more than just a piano, a pulsating beat, and backing vocals, but when you’re superstar Utada Hikaru that’s all you really need to make a stellar song.

Emei – “Love Me Not”

Justin: Hahaha oh my god this was a fun listen. You know a really good vanilla ice cream? This song is like that. There’s a ton of teen love revenge songs in the ongoing era of Olivia Rodrigo, but you still notice the really tasty ones. Emei goes with the intoxicatingly in-and-out of love bit and has some pretty challenging instrumental experiments via shreds, riffs, and Powerpuff Girl break beats that I appreciate on a song like this. “YOU TELL ME TO HUHHH???!”

Li-Wei: If there’s one thing that Emei excels in, it’s making ragey pop-rock songs that just… click (throwback to FTI site favorites “End of an Era” and “That Girl”). “Love Me Not” is all fun and winking rage — I mean, how many songs can you name that can go from 0 to 60 over the span of a chorus? I definitely want to be in the crowd of an Emei show when she plays this live… this is one song where a shouting audience is actually welcomed. 

Penthouse – “フライデーズハイ(Friday’s High)”

Justin: With a music video that’s giving mid-2000s Apple commercial, I didn’t know what to expect but it was not a “the parents aren’t home” dance track. Penthouse lets loose a complete neighborhood waking groove adventure that feels like 4 songs in one. If you can have only one song at your next HOA approved function, this is the one.

Li-Wei: “Friday’s High” is all sleek glitz and glam — living in a world where funky soul meets colorful cocktails and a glimmering dance floor. Throw this song onto a mix with Silk Sonic or Ginger Root and you’ll have yourself an instant dance party.

Bolis Pupul – “Spicy Crab”

Justin: I feel like there’s endless TikTok potential for a song like this. The song is somehow placeless and graftable to thousands of strange contexts. Ascending elevator synths and starlit bells and cavernous cryptid vocalizations topped off with a Daft Punk-y tubular funk in the tail end. Put this in liminal playlist and show them what it really means. I will meet Bolis Pupul in the middle of a forest.

Li-Wei: When paired with the song’s official visualizer, Bolis Pupul’s “Spicy Crab” carries an air of mystery with its grainy video footage of Pupul traveling through Hong Kong. Maybe it’s because the footage is anxiety inducing and faintly reminds me of 2000’s Tartan Asia Extreme films (ahem, also Pulse), but “Spicy Crab” has a kick to it that grows your uneasiness. This is creeping techno that feels urgent and untamed, building to a buzzing climax until it hits a sweet beat breakdown. Much like the experience of eating spicy crab, perhaps? 

Wei Ming – “Archetype”

Justin: Dark, whispery, and… scene? Wei Ming’s lyrics, delivery, and stairwell vocal samples bring me recollections of scene androgyny, maximalism, and dancing with glow sticks and blacklights. Liable to get stuck in your head. A solid dose of 2009.

Li-Wei: I’ve never partied with Chinese-British musician Wei Ming, but listening to “Archetype” might be the closest that I can get to that experience. A seductive electro-pop club banger, “Archetype” is an instant confidence boost for a wild night out. Wei Ming radiates “hot and I know it” with his cool delivery and his flashy one-liners. “All eyes on me,” indeed.

Check out our other Weekly Bullet Reviews here.

Header photo taken from the Bodysync – “Birds” music video.


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