Perfume has spent much of its long career imagining the future, either through its catalog of innovative electro-pop music or live performances supported by state-of-the-art visual technology. The trio — Ayaka “A-chan” Nishiwaki, Ayano “Nocchi” Omoto and Yuka “Kashiyuka” Kashino — embraced its forward-thinking reputation with album “Future Pop” in 2018. But from the sound of Perfume’s seventh full-length album, “Plasma,” the trio seems more interested in going with the flow than chasing something new.
“When I listen to ‘Future Pop,’ I feel like I have to dance,” Nocchi tells The Japan Times over video chat. “There are a lot of songs from there with impact, like they almost force you to get excited. But this time, there are a lot of songs (on ‘Plasma’) where you can just rock side to side. It’s mellow and better for day-to-day listening.”
For “Plasma,” Perfume producer Yasutaka Nakata softens much of the group’s buzzing electronic textures to craft a collection of breezy synth-disco. The track “Drive’n the Rain,” for example, borders on nostalgic with its production that the group likens to “city pop,” a genre of music that came about during Japan’s bubble era and is influenced by funk, disco and dance pop. The easy-going music and rhythms of the album complement a slower pace of life but also the “new normal” brought on by the pandemic.