I’m really big friends with bigbird: PWRFL Power
Who? PWRFL Power
What? Japanese naïve pop, or antifolk
Sounds like? Sesame Street, Kimya Dawson, Currituck Co. ( strange references I know)
Japanese naive pop is an existing genre. Think of bands like Maher Shalal Hash Baz (as if there are that many people that know them. I’m not really that fond of that japanese band, although they do have some nice tunes sometimes.) or 4 Bonjour’s parties.
How to define this genre? The people are Japanese, and they play songs that are a bit child-like. I know there are many other definitions (one saying that the artist is japanese and hasn’t got any musical background, meaning the instrumentation he uses is naïve). That last thing is definitely not the case for PWRFL Power. He’s a Japanese American, and is quite good at playing the guitar. In his fingerpickin’, he sometimes reminds me of folk guitarists like John Fahey and Currituck Co.
The funny thing however is that he mixes that up with these naïve lyrics (well, in most songs), so that you get songs about tootbrushs, cats and bananas.
He has released a brilliant EP on Catbird Records (which is unfortunately sold out), and a full album release on the indielabel Slender Means society. I must admit though that, although the full album contains most songs of the EP, the EP is more enjoyable, just because it’s shorter. PWRFL Power tends to make his songs sound mostly the same. This got a 0-star review on Tiny Mix Tapes by the way, which is a bit harsh.