Like life itself, idol is transient. As of June this year, Especia ceased to exist as the idol unit with a hint of vapourwave and the anachronistic, but was instead been reborn as a (more) serious city-pop group. Expect less pandering, but the same stylised and excellently produced music. Is it not that which really matters?
Surviving members of the original group Haruka and Erika are joined by newcomer Mia to complete the trio. Thankfully, Haruka and Erika were always amongst the strongest vocalists in Especia. The notable exception being perhaps the best singer, Monari, who is pursuing a solo career.
Accompanying the refined lineup, and shift in musical direction, is an updated visual style. The brightly coloured relics of yesteryear have been relegated in favour of black dresses and veils. This, combined with the arid cover art, MV, and promo shots with bottled water lend the new EP, Mirage, a strong unified style.
Curiously, it has been decided that the lyrics should now be in something approximating English. For English speakers, this does not help comprehension. Regardless, if you appreciate good music, you should see this departure from idol as a positive.