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 20 of 2023. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
Lillies and Remains – Neon Lights
It has been a while since new wave band Lillies and Remains released new music; after Before the End, a single released in 2022, Neon Lights is the latest digital single from the duo, consisting of vocalist and guitarist Kent and guitarist Kazuya. 2014 saw the release of their most recent album, ROMANTICISM, so could this mean a new album is coming? The band combines melodies reminiscent of new wave artists from the 1980s, but also includes a sound reminiscent precisely of post-punk acts from around the same period. — Recommended by Francisca
The Muddies – Satisfied?
Last Wednesday, four-piece rock band The Muddies released their third EP, titled COUNTER BLUES. Formed by childhood friends FUTA (vocals) and KOMEI (bass guitar), the band name is derived from legendary blues artist Muddy Waters. The band members’ roots are in the 1950s-1960s R&B, soul, garage punk and British beat music. Soon after their formation, they performed at COMING KOBE 2018 and SUMMER SONIC 2018 while still in high school. Nowadays, they are further developing their way of rock and roll and trying to push boundaries. — Recommended by Francisca
Mississippi Khaki Hair – My Dream Girl
My Dream Girl is the very latest digital single release from five-piece alternative rock band Mississippi Khaki Hair, it is the first track in a year following the release of their EP Seven in April last year. Switching between post-punk, new wave and shoegaze, the Tokyo-based band has been entertaining audiences in the underground scene since 2016. So what will be the next step for this band? We need to keep an eye on this band! — Recommended by Francisca
Sailing Before The Wind – Vanishing Figure (feat. Sean Hester)
The latest release from metalcore band Sailing Before The Wind is a digital single, featuring guest vocals from Sean Hester, who is active in US metalcore band Life Itself. The band recently presented a new line-up after adding vocalist Ryoichi, and guitarists Kosuke and Liku. In March, they released their first live album, A Decade of Sailors, which was recorded at Shibuya CYCLONE in October 2022 and was the band’s first solo headlining show. — Recommended by Francisca
NEO JAPONISM – SNIPER
Idol group NEO JAPONISM started activities in 2017, the current line-up has been active since November 2019, with music that moves between rock, dance music and pop and eccentric live performances that manages to excite audiences. They also manage to attract attention with the music videos and the five members will be seen in the United States in October. The phrase “fighting, with pride in heart, with you” is currently used as a concept by the idol group. — Recommended by Francisca
kao – New era
After releasing a limited release of several singles, the three-member rock band kao will release their first-ever mini-album in Japan in a few days. With a title like What’s kao?? you can think of it as an introduction, a calling card from the band to the public. With New era as the first song presented, the band consisting of vocalist tomo, guitarist Daichi, and bassist Legenda, also seems to be ushering in a new era. The Tokyo-based band is still pretty new, in November 2021 they launched social media accounts to introduce themselves. — Recommended by Francisca
CANTOY – Catch The Money
The newest music video of the rock band (and in some ways party band) CANTOY is for yet another song full of power and motivating energy. The aim of the music this three-piece produces is to make people laugh and happy. They have everyday life songs about that everyone can relate to, such as songs about Asahi Super Dry, mapo tofu, sushi, and curry rice, and now it is time to Catch The Money and seize the success. The song can be found back on the in December 2020 released album 余命宣告の朝に。 (On the morning of the proclamation of life expectancy.). — 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.