Go read this piece about why you may be seeing a lot of city pop in your feeds

Go read this piece about why you may be seeing a lot of city pop in your feeds


Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

City pop is a genre defined by nostalgia. Though, as Cat Zhang writes, that nostalgia is algorithmically generated — and its recent popularity is wrapped in the acceleration of global exchange and a whole Western mythology of Japan as the capitalist future. Yesterday, Zhang published an elegant capsule history of the genre in Pitchfork, which also explains why the music is surging in popularity in the US.

Naturally, it started in Japan. “The upswing of city pop likely originates with the Japanese themselves: a few decades ago, domestic crate diggers started critically reevaluating vintage Japanese music, or wamono,” Zhang writes. Then, some decades later, it hit Western ears.

“Japanese music isn’t particularly accessible overseas: The…

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