With a large music industry such as Japan has, the second largest in the world, it is inevitable that music fans will be inundated with a profusion of good (and also less good) music from this country. It is impossible to keep track of this and write a review about it per video. But to avoid missing out on gems, it is time for a weekly list of new music videos from lesser-known Japanese musical acts that are definitely worth watching.
We are now looking back on a selection of videos that were released in week 14 of 2023. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
BURNABLE/UNBURNABLE – S.O.S.
The dark pop unit BURNABLE/UNBURNABLE released a new music video for S.O.S., a new song and the ninth digital single that is part of a project that they have begun in March in which they will release new music tracks for 10 consecutive months. Two sites, an abandoned train station and an industrial neighbourhood, served as the backdrops for the S.O.S. music video. The scenes centre on vocalist re:caco, who is being pursued by something and runs away. — Recommended by Francisca
MARKET SHOP STORE – メス (Mesu)
The four ladies of MARKET SHOP STORE are a welcome guests on the stage of Japanese music venues with a nicely filled discography that will soon be updated with the song Mesu. It is still unknown when this track will be officially released, but we may already enjoy the music video for it, more than a year after they released a video for SCISSOR. The rock band has undergone several line-up changes since its inception 7 years back, they seem to have built a sizeable fan base with their hard work. Eager to see if this will be a lead-up to a full-length album! — Recommended by Francisca
Tacica – 金糸雀 (Canary)
Since the formation of tacica in 2005, the Sapporo-based rock band has released more than 10 albums, and even more singles, but they still seem going strong. Currently the band is a duo, consisting of vocalist and guitarist Igari Shoichi and bass player Yuuta Konishi. You might know them for the opening and ending theme songs for anime series as Haikyuu!!, Naruto Shippuden, among others. With the release of this single, the band ushers in the 18th year for the band. — Recommended by Francisca
ピロカルピン (Pirokalpin) – ガンダーラ (Gandhāra)
Time to celebrate: May sees the release of Pirokalpin’s 10th album, 円心 (Enshin), more than three years after its last release, and then this year also marks the band’s 20th anniversary. After working in indie and major labels, the four-piece rock band, led by vocalist and guitarist Chieko Matsuki and guitarist Shinjiro Okada, founded their own label in 2015 where they could seek further freedom of expression with lyrics that cut through the tension between everyday life and fantasy. — Recommended by Francisca
ЯeaL – セナカアワセ (Senaka Awase) (10th Anniversary ver.)
ЯeaL have re-recorded a selection of their songs from their indie years for the band’s 10th anniversary EP Our New ЯeaL. The four-piece rock band is centred around vocalist and guitarist Ryoko, who takes care of writing the lyrics. They have contributed to several theme songs for anime series, such as Gintama and Boruto. In late 2020, the rock band departed the label and decided to go down the indie route. This move has brought them several digital releases and now the new EP, as well as the addition of guitarist Yuri, in late 2022, which made ЯeaL officially a four-piece again. — Recommended by Francisca
Sugar House – Just Wanna Live It Up
While starting just before the pandemic hit the world, this indie rock band seems to have been able to work continuously on new music. From all the music that they have been producing, you can hear that the band loves to present several genres, going from post-punk, shoegaze, and indie pop. They have released a couple of singles and an EP, Just Wanna Live It Up is another (digital) single. It is the first release of 2023 for Sugar House and it is a step further in their synthesiser-infused style. Since the release, guitarist Hibiki Uchida decided to leave the band and Sugar House will continue with support musician nimo (VOLZOI). — Recommended by Francisca
リスキーシフト (Risky Shift) – NO SMOKING
Rock band Risky Shift can be best described as a new-generation rock band from Tokyo, they produce an alternative sound with ripping guitars and swirling grooves but the songs are also full of overflowing emotions from everyday life and a sense of entrapment. They have dropped a new single, titled NO SMOKING, the follow-up from their previous digital release, ゆれる (yureru), in March. So, what will be the next step for the Tokyo-based four-piece? — Recommended by Francisca
Next week we will be back for a new list of new music videos to check out. But you can also look back to the earlier editions of this weekly article series for when you yearn for more musical gems! Want to read more about how this project started or check out the YouTube playlists? Click here for all the information.