Japanese Wallpaper, the prodigal young bedroom producer hailing from Melbourne, Victoria, has just delivered another remix of his signature blend of ethereal, emotive air-pop that sounds lighter than helium. Lending his skills as a producer to a Charli XCX, he’s done a rework of her song Need Ur Love that is so characteristically JapWall (as he’s known to his friends) that it’s ridiculous.
The beginning of the track sounds eerily familiar to Arrival, like you’re floating above a cerulean blue ocean which blends seamlessly into the azure sky on the horizon. Then the light, elegant tinkle of the xylophone begins, before Charli’s saccharine vocals blend harmoniously with the gentle strum of the guitar.
The refrain ‘I need ur love, I need it even when it hurts me’, sounds so lighthearted, so very joyful despite the obvious desperation embedded in the actual lyricism of the song. It sounds like a children’s song, the kind of song that evoke nostalgic memories of jumping carefree on a trampoline or running through the sprinklers on a hot summer’s day.
The whole thing smacks of Japanese Wallpaper’s distinctive sound – he’s really developed his own unique, transcendent style which is starting to verge on the iconic.
It’s been a big year Japanese Wallpaper, real name Gab Strum, who after winning Triple J’s Unearthed High has gone on to play Falls Festival, Splendour in the Grass, perform his own solo tour, all before he’s completed his VCEs. We were lucky enough to speak to Strum when he was in town for his Sydney performance in July. At only 17, he counts Wafia and Airling among his friends, and collaborated with Jesse Davidson and Pepa Knight (Jinja Safari’s frontman) for his debut EP.
All this before he can legally drink. It puts us (older) mortals to shame.