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 33 of 2023. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
うたのじかん (Uta No Jikan) – 深夜バラエティ「憂鬱」(Late Night Variety “Melancholy”)
Behind Uta No Jikan is a singer-songwriter who empathises with the poignancy of life, singing with a soft voice that carries the delicate and intellectual lyrics combined with melodies tinged by loneliness. According to the musician, Late Night Variety “Melancholy” is perfect to listen to on a depressing night when you can’t sleep, a companion for the lonely nights. This song will be used as the ending song for a streaming radio show by popular YouTuber morgen. — Recommended by Francisca
The Yeahs – Anarchic Dirty Cinema
This two-piece indie rock band, consisting of NANALIZY and Shinokun and previously operating under the band name yeahs, takes a lot of inspiration from American indie punk, British alternative rpck and French disco punk and manages to fuse it well and make it their own. After their first release, iT GiRL, was so well received, they have finally arrived at the second single, Anarchic Dirty Cinema. Sharply responding to everyone’s lives, this song is a sharp exploration of the human experience. — Recommended by Francisca
DURAN – Moldy Chips
It has flown under our radar, but contemporary rock musician DURAN appeared to be in Europe this week for a series of performances in France and Belgium. Even more exciting news awaits fans this November, as the rock artist is set to drop his long-awaited album, Electric Man, Moldy Chips is one of the tracks on this release. DURAN’s journey as a solo artist began about five years ago, but his musical footprint stretches far. Indeed, he has collaborated with such prominent figures as Koshi Inaba (B’z), Kiyoharu and EXILE ATSUSHI, and it is no different during his solo career. — Recommended by Francisca
カライドスコープ (Kaleid Scope) – テルミー (Tell me)
This band is not unknown to us as we shone a spotlight on Kaleid Scope last year. Recently, this three-member band from Kyoto released an EP titled WAYA★WAYA. The band is known for making upbeat punk songs where the vocals are positive and straightforward. Should you not have enough after watching and listening to this music video – as this video is short but sweet – a colourful video has also been published for the title track of this EP. — Recommended by Francisca
クリオネ方程式 (Clione Houteishiki) – ハルク (Haruku)
It’s always exciting to discover brand-new bands who have just released their first music. Because they are at the beginning of their careers, anyone interested can follow them and see how they develop the band’s sound and concept. This Nagoya-based band is a good example of that. Clione Houteishiki popped up on social media in July of this year and just this week they have released their first music video to promote their first single, Haruku. Meanwhile, they have already had their first performances. — Recommended by Francisca
November,Wednesday. – レインマン (Rainman)
While we are still in summer, which is synonymous with hot days, this Osaka-based band gives us rain and melancholic chill. In late 2014, November,Wednesday. was formed by vocalist and guitarist Maa and drummer Tsukuru. The band has since gone through several line-up changes and now further consists of guitarist Shige, bassist Miho and drummer Saya. The band delivers cinematic music with a slow pace but steady progression embodying colour, temperature and emotional landscapes. — Recommended by Francisca
Nikiie – Amoeba
Nikiie’s (stylised as nikiie) musical adventure began at a young age amid the chaotic days of her childhood, music became her solace and source of growth. As a form of self-expression, she began songwriting, composing, and participating in band activities at the age of 16. She made her solo debut in 2010, and since then she has expanded her scope into lyric writing and collaborations with creative units such as (K)NoW_NAME and DADARAY. Her latest release, Amoeba, showcases her unique musical style, blending playful piano riffs and unorthodox lyrics into a refreshingly eccentric composition. — 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.