Songs for Lovers irreverently presents its oily romance as an illusion. The vaporwave producers waterfront dining and 蜃気楼MIRAGE have banded together to release a sumptuous feast of gooey love themes. And while the uninitiated might be tempted to accuse the pair of gross sentimentality, those familiar with their respective solo albums won’t be surprised to hear that the love presented on this record is a farce.
Having already released a slew of highlights within the vaporwave genre, waterfront dining is no stranger to music depicting modern existence as a wishful simulation. Neither is 蜃気楼MIRAGE, who despite being active for only a couple of years, has been responsible for a wide array of records under such aliases as Channel 505, relief and instruction compiler.
Together, they’ve produced the strangely intoxicating Songs for Lovers, which takes ballads from the ’80s and ramps up their schmaltz-factor while retaining a faint air of ambiguity. Such serenades as “even when you sleep” and “甘いタブー” drip in amorous saxophones and shimmering cymbal splashes, yet at the same time they possess a thick, humid atmosphere that makes them more absorbing than they have any right to be.
This seductive atmosphere can be chalked up to the production skills of Songs for Lovers’ creators, who’ve harnessed vaporwave’s characteristic focus on unreality and interestingly refocused it on love and romance. In doing this, they haven’t only suggested that even our most intimate sentiments and feelings can often be artificial, but have also forged an album whose syrupy yet subtle tracks will creep under your skin and stay there, like the memory of a torrid love affair.