If you look at Neon Bunny‘s discography, she actually doesn’t have a lot of releases. She started in 2011 with Seoulight and released Happy Ending in 2012. She didn’t return until 2014 with “It’s You” and then kind of disappeared again until the release of “Forest of Skyscrapers” earlier in 2016. That single marked a change in her overall style. Previous releases were more electro pop, but “Forest of Skyscrapers” was different. Going from electro pop, Neon Bunny entered another electronic style adding in chillwave, synth, and future soul.
That makes Stay Gold a marker for another era of Neon Bunny. She’s become a bit more visible the past year, performing at SXSW 2016, and released what I consider her second full length. I’m not sure if she considers Seoulight a full length or EP, but the nine songs on that release were an excellent introduction. But Stay Gold really shows growth from her start. It’s more sonically dense. Take “Room314” as an example. The instrumentals, samples, and synth are complex and create really interesting polyrhythms. Stay Gold also allows Neon Bunny to reintroduce herself to a big audience internationally. While some people might be familiar with her earlier, there is no denying that she’s improved dramatically with the composition of her songs. “It’s You,” which is actually two years old, was a hint.
But then get to “Ai” and it’s possible to hear the confidence Neon Bunny has with each song. Compared to other songs on the album, it’s a chillwave focused track that has a simple melody, vocal line, and beat; but the song is incredibly addictive. Stay Gold contains many polished songs with many of the strongest at the end. “New Moon” is my favorite song and it has a resemblance to “Arabesque” by Salyu used for the movie All About Lily Chou-Chou. “Don’t Forget Me” is a switch. As the last song, Neon Bunny refers to a piano and her voice rather than adding any additional elements. It’s the perfect closer to the album.
Even though Neon Bunny hasn’t been a prolific artist, anyone who listens to her music is usually instantly a fan. With her earlier work having a different tone, this new introduction with Stay Gold will likely earn a lot more fans. Whether she has more music planned to record and release is unknown, but people will likely pick this album as one of their favorites of the year.