Former Dead Astronauts singer and producer Hayley Stewart continues to explore whole new worlds as Mecha Maiko. Her latest album, Let’s!, slips frequently between dark, brooding synthwave and bright, danceable disco-infused pop on tracks like “Alive” and “End of Your Life.” This melding of opposites embodies everything about Mecha Maiko, down to the name itself, which was inspired by Stewart’s fascination with Japanese culture: Mechas are giant robots controlled by humans, while a maiko refers to a geisha in training. A similar theme runs through this handcrafted playlist she put together for us—a synth-laden soundtrack that blends mechanical rhythms with sensual melodies to get you dancing like it’s the end of the world.
Says Stewart of the playlist: “Dance tracks for people who want to tell the apocalypse to fuck off. These unapologetically catchy Italo/dance/electro songs will help us ganbatte [translation from Japanese: ‘do your best’] while we change the world.”