Despite his elusive online persona, Kazuto Okawa, aka LLLL (pronounced "four-el"), is strikingly open and honest about his views in person. Speaking in a small Koenji cafe, he discusses his sophomore album, "Faithful," released this week via Tokyo label Progressive Form, with a critical approach that many artists would nervously avoid.

His first album, "Paradice," released on the California-based imprint Zoom Lens, included collaborative efforts with a sole vocalist. "Faithful," in contrast, takes on a different form, engaging with a variety of both English- and Japanese-speaking female singers. Furrowing his brow and taking long pauses, Okawa reflects on his choice of collaborators. "I just can't associate my feelings with male vocalists," he states.

Dream-pop producer Asa Taura, Montreal based singer-songwriter Meghan Riley and Shinobu from Her Ghost Friend are among many prolific artists to feature on "Faithful." Its dark drumming underlines an implosion of nostalgia, heightened by the sorrowful and ethereal sounds of whispery vocals.