Music / CD Reviews | LISTENING POST

For Tracy Hyde polishes its indie aesthetics on 'Film Bleu'

by Patrick St. Michel

Special To The Japan Times

For Tracy Hyde’s “Film Bleu” presents an elegant way for an indie-pop band to exist in a different realm. The group has been around since 2012, started by guitarist Azusa Suga merging twee-ish rock with strokes of electronica.

A few years after working independently — and following several lineup changes — the quintet has released a full-length via P-Vine. It’s a more polished For Tracy Hyde, but the penchant for driving melodies and hooks is still there.

A handful of songs here first appeared as early as 2012, and the newer versions offer a sense of what has changed. Zippy numbers such as “First Regrets” and “Her Sarah Records Collection” have been tightened up, while new lead vocalist Eureka adds a airiness that was missing from the original versions sung by Suga. Eureka fits in well on the band’s electronic-leaning cuts, most notably on the dreamy bounce of “Shady Lane Sherbert.”

For all the new developments, “Film Bleu” works best when For Tracy Hyde plunges forward delivering synth-accented indie-pop like on “Favourite Blue,” the album’s most urgent — and ultimately most catchy — inclusion. Whatever changes the group makes, it seems like the core of what it does will remain intact.