Some melodies are so instant and insistent that you come away from the very first listen with the hook rattling around in your head. This is often referred to as an “earworm,” and Japanese group BuZZ’s Sun and Love is the mother of all earworms. These guys have been around for a few years, but haven’t really come to my attention until now. However, there is simply no resisting a song like this. It’s about as uplifting as pop music gets, anchored by a simple, sing-for-the-rafters refrain.
BuZZ is comprised of nine performers – four vocalists and five band members. They’re entirely self-produced, and usually trade in the kind of retro synth rock that’s currently making a resurgence. Sun and Love is a bit different, with an acoustic-meets-EDM style that’s bolstered by choir-like backing vocals. This gives the track an immense sound, though the instrumental is actually pretty uncluttered. Its three central elements – guitar, club beat and backing vocals – are so brilliantly fused that the combination feels seamless.
But, Sun and Love benefits most from its melody. It’s been a while since I’ve heard a K or J-pop track that so wholeheartedly embraces these kind of widescreen refrains. The song wastes no time getting started, opening with a dramatic flourish before building to the main hook. The verses pull back a bit to focus on the strumming guitar, but the whole thing has such a pleasant, optimistic bounce. The various segments never feel disparate or forced, giving Sun and Love a warm, natural flow. The guys clearly know they’ve struck gold here, as the hook is repeated many, many times. The song even ends with the rare fade-out – a pop music trick we hardly ever hear these days. But, that’s Sun and Love in a nutshell. It’s utterly timeless in the best way.