Rina Sawayama is just two days from dropping SAWAYAMA, her debut album. The Niigata-born, London-based singer seems to be delving into some heavy aughts nostalgia on the album, sometimes by blending pop with nu-metal in a way that connects the dots between Grimes and Evanescence. On new single “Bad Friend,” though, she scales back the detuned guitars in favor of full-fledged Bush-era pop that could fit on a playlist between Nelly Furtado and the Pussycat Dolls.
In contrast to the uptempo, club-ready “Comme Des Garçons (Like The Boys),” this latest track is more of a synth-pop ballad, complete with Imogen Heap-style vocal manipulation. It finds her flashing back to a karaoke room at the height of “Call Me Maybe,” wondering why she hasn’t maintained those old connections: “Summer of 2012 burnt into my mind/ Hot, crazy, and drunk, five in a room/ Singing our hearts out to Carly, sweat in our eyes.” In keeping with the theme, the “Bad Friend” visuals are designed to look like a karaoke video.
SAWAYAMA is out 4/17 on Dirty Hit. Pre-order it here.