Review: Slime Girls - "Tapioca"

Slime Girls - Tapioca OST
(Self-Released 2016)

Slime Girls' recent output has afflicted me with serious case of late-aughts nostalgia, particularly for the fingerprint-smeared copy of Wii Music I'd rent from Blockbuster in the 5th grade. Though the game limited its player to a setlist of folk songs and pre-Iran Contra soft-pop tunes, I'd find myself mesmerized by the vast library of instruments available to digitally pluck, bow and beat with my WiiMote. I'd spend hours constructing and comparing arrangements of these pre-determined songs, conducting a marimba sextet's Reich-ian run-through of "Jingle Bell Rock" or an intimate rendition of Madonna's "Material Girl" composed for jaw harp and bassoon. Cheesy as the game may have been, Wii Music served as a catalyst for my love of songcraft and my fascination with the different sonic textures that genres and combinations of instruments can produce. This feeling of motion controlled discovery is recreated note for note on Slime Girls' score for Tapioca, the latest pastel-toned short film animated by Toronto's Punimelt.

The EP opens with a 5-part medley comprised of abrreviated versions of the songs that follow it - the first of these full-length cuts is "Summer 3 Tokyo Drift", a high octane Calypso-punk tune that takes me back to dropping long-range jumpers in a game of Wii Sports Resort Basketball. Its taffy-like synths pair impeccably with its frenetic rhythm section, as if you're floating on an emoji-shaped raft in the middle of an unusually aggressive wave pool. By contrast, "Walking To School Can Be Hard" packs some of the mellowest twee-pop vibes this side of Matador Records, crowning its trap percussion with a canopy of overcast ambience. It's the sort of melancholy jazz-folk that'd play while collecting shells down by your Animal Crossing town's shoreline in hopes of pocketing a few bells at Tom Nook's shop.

Whether it's accompanying the film it was created for or a leisurely stroll around the block, Tapioca is as suited for animation as it is for your solipsistic fantasies of starring in your own JRPG. Consider Tapioca an augmented reality OST.