ALBUM REVIEW: Japanese Wallpaper – Glow

Soaked in moody aesthetics, Japanese Wallpaper’s debut album is the glittery atmospheric release you wanted to hear from him. 

Growing from his cinematically inclined chill-pop roots, this album heads towards a polished pop delivery that sees him growing as a singer, songwriter and producer. The whole record is a personal exploration of self discovery as he reflects on his past relationships and the highs and lows that we all experience in life. 

From the opening moody electronic oozing of ‘Ready/Waiting’, he immediately delivers a indie-pop sound that has room to evolve throughout the record and give you a couple of different contrasting feelings. ‘Caving In’ and ‘Float’ continue that established sound while ‘Cocoon’ and ‘Glow’ strip things back to the more atmospheric side of his production skills. 

‘Wearing You Out’ is an immediate highlight that grasps onto that cinematic atmospheric approach and hears him opening up about a time where he started to get close to someone but began to second guess their motives as well as his feelings. During the moody hook he questions “Am I wearing you out?”, and if that doesn’t hit you in the chest, then I don’t know what will. 

In contrast, there are the bright synth-pop moments that you are already well acquainted with like ‘Imaginary Friend’, ‘Tongue Tied’ and ‘Foolin Around’ which have been received well on streaming platforms and have also been adapted well into his live show. 

But there is one unreleased banger waiting to be heard that is going to be a future hit. ‘Tell Me What You Mean By That’ is the records strongest pop moment and it’s strong production is so dynamic and catchy. It’s quite different to everything else on the record and that’s why it boldly stands out. “You know I’m trying to connect cause I wish I knew what was in your head” he sings during the catchy track.

His growing aesthetic is music that could be included on The OC Soundtrack and ‘Glow’ is a record that really could be just that. It’s got moody moments, it’s got bright moments and it’s got retrospective moments full of reflection. It captures who Gab Strum is as a producer and a songwriter and highlights his personal growth in a bright ten track package. 

Pre-order a physical copy of ‘Glow’ from Sanity HERE; https://www.sanity.com.au/products/2432945/Glow 

Japanese Wallpaper Australian Tour

Friday 25 October – Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Friday 1 November – Sewing Room, Perth
Saturday 2 November – Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide
Friday 8 November – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Saturday 9 November – The Brightside, Brisbane