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Two years largely stuck inside while enduring a slew of bad news would wear thin on anyone. That’s why Tokyo rock band Hazy Sour Cherry decided they would look upward and onward when recording new songs in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We wanted to make something more positive, not dark or depressing,” the band’s guitarist Jun Ichioka says in an interview with The Japan Times, explaining how Western popular media inspired them to capture the thrill of discovering a new world amid the familiar. “Our theme was exploring. Like, something you’d see on ‘Stranger Things.’”

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