Have you heard the latest track from Japanese girl group Especia? Unless you’re a big j-pop enthusiast, probably not. Fortunately, you can listen to it above: It’s called “West Philly.” I don’t know what they’re singing about, but journalistic research has taken me to this guess: West Philly.
Especia—Spanish for spice—is a relatively new Japanese pop group. They released their first album, Gusto, late last year. “West Philly” comes off the group’s first major-label “mini-album,” Primera.
Last June, Jacques of music blog Arcadey gushed over Especia:
The simplest way to describe their sound is to call it retro ’80s synth-pop, but there’s much more to it than that. They flirt with disco and SAW-style dance-pop, acid jazz, the J-pop sub-genre of city pop, and Muzak — a.k.a. elevator music (think easy listening and deliciously corny Kenny G saxophone riffs). Still, their sound extends even beyond that: “Foolish” features the kind of drive-by hip-hop groove of Snoop Dogg’s “Gin & Juice” or Adina Howard’s “Freak Like Me,” while “アバンチュールは銀色に(GUSTO Ver)” is steeped in early ’90s house.
The group has a following on Tumblr. Per this fan blog, the music for “West Philly” was written by the group’s vocal coach Rillsoul. (“My mind are always in Philadelphia and Detroit where remind me how important about makin music creative,” Rillsoul’s Twitter bio reads.)
The outfits in the “West Philly” video do appear very much Fresh Prince-inspired, which fits with this group’s sound, I suppose. Not that I know what they’re saying. But much like my infatuation with Dutch hip-hop, it doesn’t matter all that much.
[via Amara Rockar]