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“The Lovers’ Suicide” by The Bilinda Butchers

The Bilinda Butchers are a San Francisco-based band that takes a lot of influences from the 90s shoegaze sound, dreampop, and even what sounds like a traditional Japanese sanshin strumming style in some of their songs (first 25 notes of “The Lovers’ Suicide”!)

Even their album art and lyrics show the traditional Japanese art influence. Their album cover has modern (maybe even 60s-inspired) color combinations juxtaposed by the traditional Japanese woodcut art style. And according to their SoundCloud, their lyrics were inspired by Lafcadio Hearn’s story “A Street Singer,” which takes place in Japan and was written in the mid to late 1800s.

The Bilinda Butchers’ style across mediums shows their appropriation of influences not just from one recent era (or even national identity) of sound, sight, and storytelling but across centuries and oceans to create new music. All of this giving even fuller meaning to their work.