Australian musician Gab Strum makes bright yet melancholic downtempo electronic pop under the name Japanese Wallpaper, as showcased on releases such as the 2019 full-length Glow.
Melbourne resident Strum first began making music on his laptop when he was 15. Inspired by the Postal Service and Tycho, he started crafting loop-based tracks during a lengthy family vacation. When he returned, he began uploading some of his songs to SoundCloud. He received his big break when he submitted his 2013 single "Breathe In" (featuring Wafia) to Unearthed High, an emerging talent competition held by Australian radio station Triple J. Much to Strum's surprise, the song won the 2014 competition, and was subsequently chosen by Zach Braff to appear in the soundtrack to the film Wish I Was Here.
Strum released his debut EP, Japanese Wallpaper, in 2015, and the release soon garnered millions of streams online. He released "Cocoon" in 2016, followed by "Fooling Around" two years later, in advance of Glow, his full-length debut on Nettwerk Records. Arriving in 2019, Glow was sung entirely by Strum, and incorporated more acoustic instruments into his electronic pop sound. Single "Imaginary Friends" included backing vocals by Hatchie. ~ Paul Simpson