So while I’m listening to Kawaii, my better half asked (or rather accused), “Are you listening to ’80s music?” I could only reply, “No, it’s Kawaii.” Sure Kawaii may take their name too seriously — “kawaii” is Japanese for “cute” — but don’t confuse them with the other ’80s electronic imitators (good and bad) out there. The keyboards, the boy/girl vocals…it’s all tinged with the influence of Esquivel, the master pop hipster, as heard in the fluttering electronic samba of “Friends Make You Lonely.”


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