Seven years after Butterfly Case, Japanese artist Mayuko Hitotsuyanagi aka Cuushe has announced the release of a new album called Waken which will be out on November 20th via FLAU. According to the press release, rediscovering herself during this period, and following a hospitalization earlier in 2020, Cuushe has shed the fog of her previously dream-pop creations and put the clear outlines of reality on her music. Opening up with the cold morning light of ‘Hold Half’, WAKEN moves through flamboyant analog synthesizers that seem to communicate with the universe, distorted guitars and mille-feuille-layered choruses, such as on the touching ‘Beautiful’. Wildly struck snares and beats recall the rave sounds of the ’90s, energetic, carefree.

It results in a dense dance floor of sound, from the UK garage-tinged rainy night feel of ‘Emergence’ and the shuffling tick of ‘Drip’, all the way to the tumble of vital drum and bass-flavored beats in ‘Not to Blame’. With this strong percussive foundation, WAKEN thumps with a heartbeat of self-expansion and solidarity, an exercise in freedom. Cuushe’s voice — once hazy, indistinct — is now stronger, louder and clearer than ever, looking forward into the light. 

Check the first excerpt “Hold Half“.