Editors’ Notes Izumi Makura's interest in rap was sparked by a fascination with how the verses sounded in Japanese, and since emerging in the early '10s, she's valued lyrics first and foremost by taking a storyteller's approach to songwriting. However, her work draws as much from acoustic indie pop, rock, and electronic music as hip-hop. Over blurry keyboards and boom-bap beats, her dense, half-sung verses spin short stories out of seemingly simple domestic scenes—most notably on 2012's “Balloon,” where she gathers disparate observations about a relationship to create an overwhelming sense of wistfulness.

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