Japanese Wallpaper is set to release his self-titled debut EP on June 18. The EP will be followed by an east coast tour (dates below). Chances are it will be the last time you get to see the prodigal Gab Strum this year because, get this, he’s on hiatus to concentrate on his final high school exams! And yet this offering makes it difficult to harbour even the slightest resentment of Strum (trust me I tried) for his talent, his maturity and for finding a sound to confidently call his own.
The EP belies Japanese Wallpaper’s youth with its delicacy and restraint. It plays like an ethereal dream, as each track seems to be a highlight until the next begins. It is easy to see how Japanese Wallpaper has already garnered comparisons to ambient legend Tycho, and there is also an elegant quality reminiscent of Air‘s Talkie Walkie. Indeed the whole EP is capable of evoking pleasant memories and emotions, in a way that only well produced and slightly intangible electronica can. Perhaps this is noticeable because it charts Strum’s progression from a bedroom producer to Triple J Unearthed High 2014 Winner, going from Breathe In (feat. Wafia), through to current single Forces (feat. Airling).
Another feature of the EP is Strum’s ability to attract other up-and-comers to his project, in the same way that Flume has done. Among those to work with Japanese Wallpaper are Jinja Safari co-frontman Pepa Knight, Airling and Jesse Davidson. Strum’s ability to match vocalists to music is highly impressive and it culminates in the weightlessness of Arrival, featuring Dustin Tebbutt, the final track on the EP and a delightful way to go out. Good luck in your exams Gab, if you can’t find find any music to study to, I’ve got an awesome EP you can borrow.
Japanese Wallpaper EP is out on Thursday, June 18 on local label Zero Through Nine, through distributor Inertia.
JAPANESE WALLPAPER EP EAST TOUR DATES
Thurs, July 2: Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Sat, July 4: Newtown Social Club, Sydney
Sat, July 4: Newtown Social Club, Sydney (AA)
Sat, July 11: Northcote Social Club, Newtown
Sun, July 12: Northcote Social Club Matinee, Newtown (AA)
Fri, July 24: Splendour In The Grass, Byron Bay