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 21 of 2023. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
FATE GEAR – Adventure in the East
Six months after the EP release of Killers in the Sky Part 2, steampunk power metal band FATE GEAR has come out with a new single titled Deathless Memories 2023. This release contains three songs, of which two tracks from the first album, Deathless Memories and Romancer, have been re-recorded with KOKOMI (MISLIAR, ex-Asriel) as guest vocalist. Adventure in the East, the song that received a brand-new music video, is recorded with vocalist NANA. In July, this metal band can be seen live in Europe, with three shows in the Netherlands. — Recommended by Francisca
AIRCRAFT – memoria
This alternative garage pop band was formed on 1 January 2021 with Osaka as their home base. They have released several single releases and an EP in 2022 and 2023, memoria is AIRCRAFT’s very latest single and the third single of this year. The four-piece had written and recorded the song in two hours during a practice session in the studio. The song is straightforward with a story linked to a project the band organised last year full of hopes that people would come to AIRCRAFT’s show (to make memories). — Recommended by Francisca
Awkmiu – avalanche
With a sound derived from the overlapping influences of each member and vocalist and guitarist Shiki’s lyrical world, which sharply and cinematically reflects ordinary life, this four-piece band is portraying the current state of “solid pop music.” The music of Awkmui is fresh but also oddly nostalgic. The band’s name is a combination of the English word awkward and the French word mieux (better), which expresses the band’s desire to ‘deliver better music despite their awkwardness’. — Recommended by Francisca
toro – THE SICKO
THE SICKO is the second single from the brand new new wave alternative rock band toro. The three band members decided to form a band earlier this year with the concept of rock revival, trying to strike a balance between novelty and nostalgia, which is expressed not only in their music but also in their music videos. We can expect more singles in the coming months with a full-length album in August. The latest song is about a person with multiple personalities who wishes to escape from his own environment but does not have the strength to do so. — Recommended by Francisca
大塚紗英 (Sae Otsuka) – 全人類ヒューマノイド (We are to be Humanoid Beings)
Best known as a voice actress and singer-songwriter, she is affectionately called Saechi. She began writing lyrics for songs and creating music at an early age, and at the age of 15, she appeared as a street performer in Yokohama. In 2015, she became part as a voice actress and guitarist for the anime project BanG Dream! and since 2020, she made her solo debut with avex trax, where the pop musician has the space to write her own song lyrics and music. She also shows her acting side, as in the cinematic music video for the new song We are to be Humanoid Beings, which marks the beginning of Otsuka’s second chapter. — Recommended by Francisca
Heavenstamp – アネスシージア (Anesthesia)
It’s time once more for some news from the rock group Heavenstamp. In addition to unveiling a new band logo, the group also just dropped a brand-new digital track called Anaesthesia and this was complemented by a music video directed and edited by vocalist and bassist Sally#Cinnamon. Is this a run-up to a new album? The band’s sound is a combination of many different musical styles, with a heavy emphasis on rhythm and melody, including rock, post-punk, and shoegaze as well as dance music and classical music. — Recommended by Francisca
kneu – thaw
We frequently feature brand-new bands, with passion, and kneu is one of them. Based in Kyoto, this instrumental band was formed in 2022. The four-piece band draws inspiration from a variety of genres, including ambient, shoegaze, post-rock, and indie rock. The band operates under a Do-It-Yourself mentality, to date they have released three digital singles, a physical sound source of which is available on limited release. What comes next for this band is still up in the air, but we will keep an eye on it. — 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.