All young musicians dream of a fantasy collaboration when they're plotting out their careers. The artist that the members of Suchmos think of? Michael Jackson.

"I know. Sadly, he's no longer with us," says lead singer Yosuke "Yonce" Kasai via email. "But I share my birthday with him, so I always thought of it as fate." The King of Pop's smooth disco tinges can be felt in the 12 catchy tunes of "The Bay," Suchmos' debut album, although Jackson is far from being the only influence.

The Kanagawa Prefecture-based six-piece also draws inspiration from a number of old-school hip-hop acts.