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 35 of 2023. We sincerely hope you enjoy the new discoveries!
Afloat Storage – 遠泳 (Enei)
This is the first release in three years for alternative rock band Afloat Storage (stylised as afloat storage). The song can be found back on a two-track single which was released on the first of September. The band has been active since the spring of 2015 and performs mostly in Tokyo as a four-piece band fronted by vocalist and guitarist Mayu Inami. In the autumn of 2020, they decided to take a break and seemed to have been fully returned earlier this year. — Recommended by Francisca
Giallo – Baumkuchen
Giallo, the enigmatic Tokyo-based garage rock duo, released their newest single on the first of September and combined this with the release of their first music video, a new milestone for a band that emerged onto the scene just this year. Shrouded in mystery, this duo conceals their identities beneath black attire, their long hair obscuring their faces. Comprising of guitarist Nikaidou and drummer Shiki, the pair has been steadily releasing digital singles, but it all started with the release if a live-limited release which they managed to sell 100 copies of in a few months. This is only the beginning! — Recommended by Francisca
リュベンス (Rubens) − 魔的 (Mateki)
We have arrived at the third single of the four-piece Tokyo-based band Rubens. They are aiming for an entirely new style of pop music, using different genre-defying approaches and giving space for Serena’s crystal-clear vocals with the goal of producing music with a nostalgic feel. In addition to the three singles, which can all be found on major streaming services, the four-piece also released two EPs. Keep in mind that this band only began activities in 2022, so it is only exciting to see what else they plan in the future. — Recommended by Francisca
アンと私 (Ann to Watashi) – ABC
With the high-pitched voice from vocalist and guitarist Futaguchi and lyrics that are brutally honest and filled with authenticity, this guitar rock band seem to be garnering quite some attention since the release of the song Tinder. All can be found on the brand-new EP of the band, titled FALL DOWN, which was released in June of this year. The four-piece band originally started as a solo project of Futaguchi, but the support members who joined for the live performances ended up as formal members. Step by step they are working towards performing on bigger stages and getting better known. — Recommended by Francisca
Hammer Head Shark – たからもの (Takaramono)
We’ve previously featured the Tokyo-based band, Hammer Head Shark, and they’ve been far from idle when it comes to live performances. However, this latest release from the band, Takaramono, is the first in about a year. Interestingly, this track made its debut during a competition, which the three-piece rock band won, securing them the opening slot at the rockin’on presents JAPAN JAM 2023 festival. Their music serves as a gateway, inviting you into a world that feels both uncharted and strangely familiar, akin to a musical embrace. — Recommended by Francisca
Ferri-Chrome – Another Space Time
We’ve covered this guitar-pop band before, so be sure to read our earlier spotlight on them. They’re set to drop a 7-inch single in October through TESTCARD RECORDS, Another Space Time is on the A-side of this upcoming release from Ferri-Chrome. This guitar-pop group of four is on a mission to connect the indie music vibes of the 1990s with the contemporary scene, resulting in finely crafted tunes that resonate beautifully. With band members that have been active in Japan’s indie scene since the 90s, you can be sure that the work they deliver is authentic. — Recommended by Francisca
ミスイ (MISUI) – ねんねんころり (Nen Nen Korori)
Earlier this year, it was announced that visual kei band MISUI has decided to partner with the label PARAGUAS inc, the label that XANVALA is also a part of. The band has a menhera theme and a concept where they focus on people’s various weaknesses. With being active for at least four years, MISUI’s discography includes several singles, two mini-albums and a full-length album released. This song will soon be released as a limited single, interesting to know that this is also a phrase from a lullaby meaning “lie down and go to sleep”. — 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.