"Stay" lures listeners in with joyful, exciting energy that masks an inherent darkness hidden in the lyrics.
Hot on the heels of their stellar debut single, "Remember," LA-based alt J-Pop duo Bakénéko is back with an electric new song—"Stay."
Inspired by anime music and light novels like Doki Doki Literature Club, otaku fans will feel right at home with singer/songwriter Mai and composer/producer Brandon's chosen aesthetic. Further carving out a niche true to their namesake (Bakénéko is a shapeshifting cat yōkai from Japanese folklore), "Stay" is a bilingual bop that effortlessly alternates between English and Japanese. The musically complex track blends dreamy electronica with upbeat pop rock in the vein of J-Pop idols like Perfume and Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Frequent shifts between Mai's haunting vocals during the soft verses and glitchy, robotic vocals during the amped up refrains create a captivating sense of dissonance that is aptly reflected in the lyrics.
"Stay" tells the story of a possessive girlfriend attempting to coerce her former lover back into a relationship through surveillance and harassment. Much like a real abusive relationship, "Stay" lures listeners in with joyful, exciting energy that masks the inherent danger of lyrics like: "Stay, stay, stay / Tell me you'll obey / Doing whatever I want to / Oh, no way / I can make you play / Try me once, you'll never escape." If we're too busy focusing on the fun exterior, we might not spot the red flags until it's already too late.
Mai said, "'Crazy ex' is what the girl I'm portraying is called, right? But when a guy actually showed this kind of behaviour to me, people reassured me that he was just 'committed to love.' That's why I stayed so long in that relationship, and I hope flipping the genders helps others see how manipulative and messed up that double-standard is."
Alongside their projects as Bakénéko, Mai and Brandon's audio work can also be heard on film and television, across series for Netflix, E! Network, Facebook Watch, Amazon Prime TV, and an upcoming unannounced AppleTV+ production. Make sure to follow them on Instagram and Twitter, too, especially if you like engaging with talented musicians who know what's happening in My Hero Academia.
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