Parupunte “Primitive” (Tanukineiri Records)
The debut mini-album from Osaka duo Parupunte starts off sunny enough. A bit of synthesizer leads into an easygoing guitar line and beat, the sort of relaxed atmosphere you might expect from a pair of indie popsters. Then, a sudden guitar screech (think Radiohead’s “Creep”) rips through. The song, “Hikari no Kuni” (“Sunlight Country”), carries on like nothing happened, but the impact lingers, adding a sense of unease to what follows — a feeling that re-emerges throughout the seven-song set. These unexpected twists pop up throughout “Primitive” and bless Parupunte’s first collection with a tension that a lot of Japanese indie pop tends to lack, which firmly establishes the duo as an act to watch.