In the City Pop genre it has become increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd as over the past several years everyone has jumped on the genre to the point of near saturation. Soloist Natsu Summer’s injection of Reggae and Dub influences into the very fiber of the genre’s being has created some more room to work with however and she continues to develop her twist on a much loved style on her second full-length album “HAYAMA NIGHTS”. Much like the town itself, this record is selling you summer fantasies but in perhaps more believable ways than you might expect. You have the main character lamenting the day to day office grind on “Nageki no office lady”, dealing with love and all of its complexities in “Futari no kankei” while reminiscing about past summer memories on tracks like “Route 3” and “Ano goro ga poolside de”. Truly blurring the lines quite exquisitely between fantasy and reality to really amplify the typical City Pop vibes. It’s always summer in Natsu Summer’s world so why not escape to it for a little while and forget about how cold it is outside right now.