Single Review: Universe Nekoko + Lovely Summer Chan - "Froth on the Daydream"

Universe Neko-ko + Lovely Summer Chan - Froth on the Daydream
(2014 Loom Records)

My friend Tony sent me a Facebook message with a link to this single earlier this week, and ever since then I've been unable to go very long without cueing up its bandcamp page for yet another listen. A collaboration between two Japanese dream-pop artists, Froth on the Daydream summons the swirling rock ambiance of Ride and Slowdive yet still bears a touch of proto-grunge crunch in the vein of Yuck or even Juliana Hatfield's early 90's band Blake Babies. The single's title track is densely layered in shoegaze guitaristry; shimmering chords and staccato riffs twist and tangle like vines. Lovely Summer Chan's are a beacon of light piercing the instrumentation's moody twee-pop overgrowth, making for a track that resembles a crossbreed between Dinosaur Jr and Cocteau Twins. The b-side, "Divine Hammer" (a nod to The Breeders perhaps?), is a bit faster paced than its counterpart and is possibly more satisfying, carried by catchy lead guitar and its addictively dreamy chorus.