Review: SWiiiM Dives Into Murky Synth Pop With ‘Cellophane Castle’ LP

SWiiiM is Danny Fujikawa, an LA-based beatmaker formerly with Domino records’ act Chief. Left to his own devices on his new solo album Cellophane Castle, Fujikawa hews emo vocals and endearingly awkward lyrics to heavy, gnarled synths and retro rhythms to create emotive bedroom pop. The balancing act nods to LA’s beat scene and neo-romantic dandies like Daedelus, while winking at the kind of 80s new wave you found on the decade’s teen movie soundtracks.

Danny’s forlorn vocals add a disarming aura that invites you to plop down and hear him out. It’s like hanging out in the souped up basement of your best friend after school while he’s going through some secret tortured crush. You lose yourself in the gear and sound, but you’re left with a haunting feeling that you’ve just skimmed the surface of someone’s feelings.

The video for “All My Things” features Danny singing in a cage sinking to the bottom of the ocean while a pretty girl on a raft tosses instruments into the depths after him. It perfectly encapsulates the claustrophobic angst of unrequited love and is a good indication of the general tone for the rest of the album.

Check out the clip for “All My Things” and stream “I Am God” by clicking here. Cellophane Castle is out October 8th.